Photo: nito100 (iStock)

There’s an ongoing squabble between meat producers and plant-based meat products over whether non-animal-meat items should use meat-related terms like veggie “burgers” or “sausage.” Now the European vegetarian-food industry has been dealt a bit of a blow, as The Guardian reports: “The parliament’s agriculture committee this week approved a ban on producers of vegetarian food using nomenclature usually deployed to describe meat.” It also notes that some members of the European Parliament suspect the move “bears the fingerprints of the meat industry.”

Under the ban, names like “steak, sausage, escalope, burger and hamburger,” (escalope?) would only be able to be used by actual meat products. Although French socialist MEP Éric Andrieu stressed that “The meat lobby is not involved in this,” groups like Greenpeace and Birdlife insisted the ruling “presented a blow against sustainable food.” The revised regulation passed the agriculture committee with 80% approval, and then will be voted on by the full parliament, before being going to member states and the European Commission.

Instead of sausage, veggie “links” would be an acceptable replacement. But if not a veggie burger, what then? We suppose the less appetizing “patty” works. At least, it’s not as bad as “disc,” which The Guardian says has “emerged as one possible, yet possibly unpalatable, new name for plant-based burgers.” That would indeed be a poor choice if the EU does wind up booting “veggie burger” for good: It sounds more like technology, or perhaps a frisbee snack you throw in the air for your pet.