EU Amendment 171 May Censor Plant Based Dairy Phrases & Packaging
The EU is currently debating draft legislation that, if passed, would have a dramatic impact on the labeling, marketing, packaging and sales of plant-based foods across the continent. Amendment 171 is currently under review by the European Commission, European Parliment, and Counsel of Ministers. The Amendment seeks to censor not only terms that could be used on plant based dairy alternatives, but the style of packaging that they could be sold in. Cartons of plant based milk alternatives and blocks of dairy-free margarine or plant based butter would be banned under this amendment. Phrases such as "dairy free alternative to butter or yogurt", "buttery", "creamy", "does not contain milk" would also be banned.
ProVeg International have launched an online Petition which opposes the amendment. At the time of writing, this has over 450,000 participants and growing. ProVeg has highlighted that these censoring laws would "totally counteract the consumer shift to more sustainable eating habits that’s urgently needed to fight climate change." The European Consumer organisation has also voiced its opposition, writing to MEP's stating that this legislation was not necessary. Greenpeace, the World Wildlife Fund and others have also expressed their concerns for legislation which will ultimately work against consumer change and pro-climate progress. We at plant based Ireland invite you to sign the petition here
Dairy is not essential For Health
Dr Shireen Kassam of King’s College Hospital in London believes that healthcare professionals have an obligation to warn consumers about dairy consumption. “The science is clear. The consumption of cow’s dairy is not necessary for human health and can cause harm. For men, dairy consumption increases the risk of prostate cancer. When you then take into account that up to 70% of people globally are lactose intolerant and the harm that dairy farming causes to the environment and animals, we have a duty as healthcare professionals to advise our patients accordingly. I tell my patients that dairy is not essential in the diet and there are better choices they can make,” he told the Vegconomist.
In Ireland, the organisation Plant Based Doctors Ireland echo this sentiment by advocating a plant based diet to "reduce the risk of conditions known as lifestyle diseases, conditions that can be avoided or minimised just by eating the right types of food." Despite this, the Irish Department of Health still recommends at least 3 servings of dairy per day for those over the age of 18, and five servings per day for those aged 9-18.
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