New Zealand MP: Vegan Labels Put "Livelihoods of Thousands of Kiwis" at Stake
Germany’s agricultural minister Christian Schmidt may have found a new ally in New Zealand’s Northland MP Winston Peters. Schmidt’s fear of terms like ‘vegetarian schnitzels’ and ‘vegan curry sausages’ being “completely misleading” and able to “unsettle consumers” is shared by Peters, who sees this “serious” issue as one that puts the integrity of meat exports and the “livelihoods of thousands of Kiwis” at stake.
According to The Country, Peters makes it clear that he is not attacking vegetarians or vegans, but instead simply wants those who produce meat- and dairy-free products to “create their own terms and cease ripping off what a steak is.” He states:
“Meat is meat, so why is this government allowing such blatant misdescriptions to go unchallenged? The same applies to non-dairy products like ‘soymilk’ and most bizarre of all, ‘dairy-free cheese’. Another threat to $11 billion worth of exports.”
In case the seriousness of this issue is not fully understood, Peters points out that producers of vegan products are creating “increasing competition” and have the audacity to “not shy away from using meat-centric terms to describe meatless contents.”
With the apparent widespread customer confusion occurring in both Germany and New Zealand–with actual lives now at stake–one wonders if these efforts to avoid “blatant misdescriptions” will extend to products like hot dogs, baby oil, oyster mushrooms and sea cucumbers as well, or if they are simply a response to the growing demand for plant-based alternatives?
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