Speaking at the IPPE meat trade show in Atlanta, Georgia, NAMI’s senior vice president for regulatory and scientific affairs Mark Dopp discussed some of the top regulatory issues affecting meat processors in the past year and what challenges to expect for 2019.
One of the challenges outlined by Dopp was the marketing of meat alternatives in the US.
Dopp explained to GlobalMeatNews that all plant-based protein companies that label their products as ‘meat’ are illegal and are only “getting away” with this due to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) currently enforcing the labelling of plant-based products.
“Plant-based products are being marketed incorrectly and are misleading consumers,” Dopp told GlobalMeatNews. “It is illegal to label a plant-based product as meat item and we want a level playing field for meat alternatives. Under the control of USDA, this issue would be resolved.”
The issue was raised in France last year after French MPs voted in favour of banning food producers from labelling vegetarian-based products as a meat item, to avoid confusion among consumers. Following the regulation, producers across France are now no longer able to describe plant-based products that are not solely made of meat as ‘sausages’ or ‘steaks’, for example.
Dopp also discussed the EAT-Lancet report, published last year, saying that it “did not bode well for the [red meat processing] industry” and simply “ignored” all the key nutritional values that meat consumption had for consumers.