Thailand joins list of countries banning meat and dairy names for vegan alternatives

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Thailand is the latest country to propose banning naming vegan food after meat or dairy.

Their Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has drafted new regulations which would mean many plant-based meat and cheese producers are forced to change the name of their produce.

Essentially, certain terms related to meat and dairy would not allowed to be used when selling vegan produce, or would be heavily regulated.

Thailand is clamping down on misleading vegan naming (Credit: Getty)

The likes of mince, patties, milk, nuggets, bacon, tenders and cheese would have to be used with caution, too, so that it is totally transparent to the consumer that these items are plant-based.

And as for using words like pork, beef or chicken to further specify the animal product? That would be a no-no.

The rules would also stipulate that imagery hinting at the meat source should also be banned.

According to FoodNavigator , the FDA said: “At present, alternative protein products are seeing popularity amongst consumers and there are many such items on the market, but the control and supervision of the safety aspect of these in Thailand still has no clear direction.

Products called 'meat', 'patties' and 'cheese' would have to be clearly labelled (Credit: Getty)

“We are embarking on a study of the current production and imports of alternative protein products in the country, and studying the related regulations [to apply this knowledge] in the development of regulations and standards in Thailand.

“This will start with analysis of the plant-based protein sector in Thailand [before moving to] other alternative proteins such as insect-based, cultivated meat or fermentation.”

The regulations would, if passed as suggested, insist product names "must be specified in the Thai language," as well as using English descriptions.

Any English used must also be compliant with the Thai labelling restrictions.

Lots of countries are clamping down on vegan names (Credit: Getty)

While you wouldn't be able to say something is a 'milk' unless it was very clearly vegan, specifying more detail would be a workaround here.

For example 'vegan sausages' would be allowed, so long as you didn't try to claim they were 'pork' inspired.

The ban is essentially on wording that causes shoppers to "misunderstand the product to be made from meat [or dairy]."

Other countries that have similar rules (or variations on these) in place include South Africa, Turkey and France, as per Animal Aid.

Featured image: Getty