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iSTOCK / dourleak

Have you ever been confused by the difference between a Quorn sausage and a regular sausage?

Apparently, French consumers have. Yesterday, an amendment was modified to ban vegetarian products being marketed under meat-related names: so no more tofu steaks, veggie sausages or even ‘bacon-flavoured’ meat alternatives.

Not even soya milk escapes the new legislation, introduced to “ban certain commercial practices which are misleading to customers". Homing in specifically on language, the document states that terms such as “sausage alternative” imply they contain the same ingredients as one made entirely of pork.

Another section argues that the beef-like texture of soya protein makes it particularly profitable for evil manufacturers, who can then trick their customers into thinking they’re actually eating meat. Really?

Interestingly, the country seems to be warming up to vegetarianism. A series of studies collated last year revealed that 5% of participants surveyed would be vegan or vegetarian, whereas 30% would happily become ‘flexitarian’. Others were concerned by a lack of vegan options at restaurants, with 46% claiming they would like to see more; finally, 50% cited a desire to increase their consumption of veggie products.

Arguably, meat alternatives are a great way to do so; they’re an alternative for meat-lovers looking to go veggie without abandoning the tastes they like. But, according to the amendment, the very use of ‘meat-like vocabulary’ to describe veggie products is ‘paradoxical’ and ‘misleading’.

In a tweeted screenshot of the legislation, Jean Baptiste Moreau – member of French party La République en Marche – further outlines his stance, stating, rather angrily, his desire to “fight against false allegations!”

He’s serious, too – failure to comply can lead to a fine of up to €300,000.

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