Meat & Livestock News

France Implements Ban on Meat-Related Terms for Plant-Based Products


  • France has officially prohibited plant-based meat alternatives from using traditional meat terminology in their marketing.
  • This move follows Italy’s similar action to protect local farming industries and traditions, with Hungary considering a similar stance.
  • The decision has sparked a broader debate on the impact of plant-based diets and agricultural restrictions on society and the farming community.

In a significant policy shift, France has joined the ranks of countries setting clear boundaries for the marketing of plant-based products by banning the use of meat-specific terms for their promotion. The French Government’s recent decree outlines a list of prohibited words for plant-based items, including “steak,” “tendon,” “sirloin,” “sausage,” and even terms related to butchery, such as “charcutier.”

This legislative action mirrors Italy’s previous crackdown on plant-based meat labels and its outright ban on the future production of lab-grown meat, aimed at safeguarding the nation’s agricultural heritage and lifestyle. Hungary’s Agriculture Minister, István Nagy, has also expressed interest in adopting a similar policy, emphasising the essential role of farmers in food production and future sustainability.

The rise of plant-based meat companies in Europe has been notable, sparking debates about their influence on political decisions and potential health implications for the population due to reduced meat consumption. Some scientists have voiced concerns over legislation that might favour plant-based diets at the expense of traditional meat consumption, which could adversely affect public health.

Recent months have seen strong opposition to efforts aimed at reducing meat in diets and imposing strict regulations on agriculture. Farmers have protested in major cities, including Paris, showcasing their discontent with policies they perceive as threatening their livelihoods and the public’s access to traditional food choices.

George Lyon, a former politician and political analyst, highlighted the growing resistance to green regulations, suggesting that politicians have underestimated public sentiment regarding the cost and implications of such policies. The conflict between environmental initiatives and traditional agricultural practices has become increasingly apparent, with the Ukraine crisis serving as a catalyst for broader discontent.

The French government’s list of restricted terms encompasses a wide range of meat-related words, signalling a firm stance on distinguishing between plant-based alternatives and traditional meat products. This decision not only reflects a commitment to protecting agricultural practices but also ignites a conversation on the balance between environmental concerns and preserving cultural food traditions.