Red meat terms have no place on plant-based products

Red meat terms have no place on plant-based products

Editorial
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THE phrase 'mutton dressed as lamb' is decades old, but in the future could we see it replaced by a new-age version, something like 'soy nuggets dressed as lamb'?

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THE phrase 'mutton dressed as lamb' is decades old, but in the future could we see it replaced by a new-age version, something like 'soy nuggets dressed as lamb'?

The issue of plant-based products using terms like beef is back in the news this week, as the closing date for submissions to a senate inquiry into food labelling nears.

If the manufacturers of these plant-based products stand behind their health benefits, environmental credentials and animal welfare advantages, then why do they need to latch onto the appeal of the industry they are seeking to replace - the livestock sector?

Related reading: Vegan labels convey message they are as healthy as red meat

There is a place for these products in the modern world, but surely the manufacturers can come up with their own product branding using more accurate descriptions.

For years, the dairy industry has been pleading for regulators to stop the term 'milk' being used on products made from oats, almonds and soybeans. I worry that the horse has bolted in this respect, as I think any change in regulations would largely be ignored by the public, many of whom would continue to order an oat milk latte from their local café. But that doesn't mean dairy bodies should give up, or that the livestock sector should resign itself to the same fate.

Surely it's not unrealistic to think that only those farming cattle and sheep should be able to have their produce marketed as beef and lamb.

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