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German MP attacks vegetarian products with meaty names


German MP attacks vegetarian products with meaty names

Agriculture minister Christian Schmidt calls for ban on labels like ‘vegan curry sausage’ that he says are ‘misleading and unsettling’ for consumers

Germany’s agriculture minister has called for a ban on names such as “vegetarian schnitzel” for meat-substitute products, which he said were misleading consumers.

Among the “wurst” offenders is “vegan curry sausage”, a meat-free version of a heavily spiced pork dish born of post-second world war necessity and now considered a delicacy in Berlin — though largely unknown outside Germany.

“These terms are completely misleading and unsettle consumers,” Christian Schmidt told Germany’s Bild daily.

“I favour them being banned in the interest of clear consumer labelling.

“I do not want us to pretend that these pseudo-meat dishes are meat dishes.”

Schmidt has contacted the European Union’s executive branch to discuss extending rules that govern the use of the terms “milk” and “cheese” to apply to meat as well, his spokesman said.

“He considers names such as vegan curry sausage and so forth to be misleading to consumers,” Jens Urban said. “Clarity and truth, transparency for consumers, those are the measures that should apply for the labelling of all products, always and forever.”

Asked whether the measures could also affect beefsteak tomatoes, Urban said the ministry wasn’t aware of any “consumer confusion” about such products.

In the interview with Bild, Schmidt — a member of the conservative, Bavaria-based Christian Social Union — reiterated a call for schools to serve pork. Asked whether it was right for them to leave pork off the menu out of consideration for Muslims, he said that “we should not restrict the choice for the majority of society for reasons of ease or cost”.

He argued that growing cultural diversity should lead to more choice, not less.

source: The Guardian

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