The Vegan Society has hit out at the European Parliament after MEP’s voted to ban any indirect reference to dairy products for plant-based foods.

The move means that that descriptions of dairy products such as ‘yoghurt-style’ or ‘cream imitation’ will not be allowed.

As a result of the vote, the plant-based sector will be forced to create new words to describe products such as vegan cheese or vegan cream.

Vegan alternatives will continue to be called by their conventional names by recipe creators, consumers and on internet searches.

The Vegan Society is now calling for the European Parliament to reconsider the vote, which it says will have a financial impact on the plant-based sector.

Louise Davies, head of policy at The Vegan Society, said: “Plant-based products are already banned from using terms like ‘milk’ or ‘butter’ – despite there being not a single piece of evidence to suggest consumers are confused by these denominations.  

“Adding in a further restriction to stop terms that liken plant-based foods to dairy, such as ‘alternative’ or ‘style’, is going to stop manufacturers from accurately describing their products and mean that consumers actively seeking to reduce their environmental impact and shop more ethically will be poorly informed. 

“We are perplexed by this decision by MEPs who should be doing all they can to support the consumption of plant-based products to address the growing climate crisis, which is largely caused by animal agriculture.”

The European Parliament also rejected a proposal to ban the use of words like ‘sausage’ and ‘burger’ to describe vegan and vegetarian products.