June 21, 2021

Volume XI, Number 172

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June 18, 2021

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European Parliament Allows for ‘Creamy’ and ‘Buttery’ Plant-Based Dairy

Having voted 7 months earlier in favour of banning descriptive terms as ‘buttery’ and ‘creamy’ for purely plant-based products, the European Parliament withdrew draft legislation (the famous Amendment 171).

Implications of Amendment 171 were that the following would be prohibited:

  • Familiar packaging formats like a carton for plant-based milk alternatives, or a block of plant margarine;

  • Visual depictions of plant-based foods if they could be judged as “evoking” or “imitating” dairy – for example, an image of a milky swirl on a package of oat drink;

  • Science-based green claims that compare plant-based foods to dairy foods, like “half the carbon emissions of dairy butter,” across all communications including digital and social media;

  • Allergen information like “does not contain milk;”

  • Descriptive terms like “creamy,” “buttery”, “use like cooking cream” or “vegan alternative to yoghurt;”

The major advocates for Amendment 171 belonged to  the European diary industry. What exactly drove the Parliament to drop the draft legislation remains unclear, aside the growing resistance from plant-based makers and consumers. More than 450,000 consumers signed the public petition against the Amendment. Opponents also included WWF, Greenpeace, the European Consumer Organisation and Greta  Thunberg.

© 2021 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 162
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Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...

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