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| 1 minute read

France bans the use of "meaty" terms in plant-based products. Will other countries follow suit?

While the United States and many other countries wrestle with how plant-based products designed to substitute as meats should be labeled or otherwise described, France has enacted a decree that says exactly what words cannot be used – and it is a long list. Moreover, the French ban extends beyond plant-based products; it also applies to products made from fungi, mycoprotein, and any other type of meat substitute.   

Here are the terms that are now off the table (pun intended) to manufacturers of meat alternatives: filet, faux filet (rib eye, sirloin), rumsteck (rump streak), entrecote (rib steak), onglet (back steak), bifteck (beefsteak), flanchet (flank), steak, escalope (cutlet), and jambon (ham). The French decree does allow for plant proteins to be included in meat products marketed as meat, but only if it meets specific proportion requirements. For example, bacon can include up to 0.5% in plant protein content and still be called “bacon.” But, as one would expect, any product marketed as “meat” must overwhelmingly consist of what consumers have traditionally thought of as “meat” to avoid application of the decree. 

France is not the only country to adopt this type of decree. South Africa and Italy also ban the use of “meaty” descriptions on plant-based products. Other countries in the European Union have considered similar legislation, but ultimately abandoned the effort. The multi-million-dollar question, of course, is what will the United States do? Will it follow France's lead, or stay somewhat neutral on the subject? I'll be watching, and so should you …    

In three months’ time, France will enforce a ban on the use of ‘meaty’ terminology for plant-based products. According to the new decree​ ... vegan steak, meat-free bacon, and plant-based saucisse are off the menu. Operators that don’t comply could be fined up to €7,500.


food and beverage, meat, plant-based, labels and terminology