France’s Top Administrative Court Suspends A Government Decree

France’s top administrative court suspends a government decree which banned the use of 21 “meaty” terms pending the ruling of the European Court on the issue.

As we have previously reported, in February the French government issued a decree to ban he term “steak” on the label of vegetarian products from 1st May, saying that it was reserved for meat alone (in France a veggie burger is called a veggie “steak”). The decree listed 21 terms usually used by butchers – including “escalope,” “ham,” “filet” and “prime rib” – that it said were not allowed for plant-based products. The ruling was a response to a long-standing complaint by the meat industry that terms like “vegetarian ham” or “vegan sausage” were confusing for consumers and was based on a 2020 law.

he nation’s top administrative court (the Council of State) has now suspended the application of the decree after a complaint from French companies selling plant-based food. The Council of State adjudged that there existed “a serious doubt over the legality of such a ban.” and imposed a stay in respect of it until the Court of Justice of the European Union responded to a query over whether the measure is legal under EU law.

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