If you take a stroll down any aisle in your favorite grocery store, you will see all kinds of food labels promoting products as being vegetarian or vegan choices. European and Swiss food legislation contains strict regulations on ingredients, nutrition information, legibility of information, presentation of allergens, as well as healthy, natural or free-from claims - and the general prohibition to use misleading wording for foods. All for the sake of food safety.
On 23 October 2020, the European Parliament discussed whether the use of meat- and dairy-like terms for merely plant-based food products (i.e. such which neither contain meat nor dairy ingredients) should be permitted - or whether terms such as "veggie sausage" for non-meat products, or "soy milk" for non-dairy products would mislead consumers.
Interesting, while the European Parliament rejected the proposed ban for meat-like terms and allowed restaurants and shops in the European Union to label plant-based products as "veggie burgers" or "vegan sausages", at the same time, it voted for stricter rules on labeling of dairy substitutes, backing a ban on terms such as "milk-like" or "cheese-style" for plant-based products that contain no dairy ingredients.
The labeling rules are part of a bigger EU farming policy package for 2021-2027, and are not final. It remains to be seen whether the differentiation between meat-like and dairy-like products will be backed up by the EU Member States.
EU lawmakers vote for 'veggie burgers', take hard line on dairy labels