The European Union (EU) has rejected draft legislation which would have imposed new restrictions on descriptions and packaging used by the plant-based dairy sector, FoodBev reported on 26 May.

Current European laws already ban the use of dairy terms for non-dairy products, such as ‘soya milk’ or ‘vegan cheese’.

However, Amendment 171 (AM171) would have had further implications for the alternative dairy sector, banning descriptions such as “creamy” or “buttery”, FoodBev wrote.

Images of plant-based foods that could be judged to be ‘evoking’ or ‘imitating’ dairy, would also have been banned, along with packaging formats such as milk cartons or butter blocks and comparisons such as “half the carbon emissions of dairy butter, the report said.

Last year, the European Parliament had voted to reject a ban on plant-based products using names typically associated with meat products, but had voted in favour of a plant-based dairy ban, FoodBev wrote.

AM171 had now been dropped by the European Parliament, the European Council and the European Commission, FoodBev said.

The amendment had followed objections from NGOs, food companies such as Nestlé, climate change activist Greta Thunberg, and other organisations, the report added.

Meanwhile, the European Dairy Association (EDA) had said that the decision to uphold existing restrictions on the use of terms such as “vegan cheese” in the Common Agricultural Policy would continue to protect dairy industry products, FoodBev wrote.