RED meat industry leaders and senators have pledged to ensure that recommendations for new laws to prevent vegan foods from being labeled beef are implemented.
The industry’s umbrella body, the Red Meat Advisory Council, will ask both major political parties to commit to carrying out the recommendations and the chair of the Senate inquiry that investigated the matter, Susan McDonald’s, promised to start “knocking on the minister’s doors” immediately. .
The government’s response to the recommendations of the Senate inquiry into the use of animal descriptors on plant proteins is unlikely to come before an election.
However, the fact that there has been an appetite for change from government and opposition bodes well for the implementation of a position that will be much tougher regardless of the outcome of the election. .
The main recommendation of the Senate Committee on Rural and Regional Affairs and Transportation Legislation investigation into definitions of meat was for mandatory new regulations to ban the use of words such as beef and chicken, and the imagery livestock, on products that do not contain any products of animal origin.
New alternative protein products, often referred to as “fake meat,” labeled as the real deal with “plant-based” in smaller text, have been a contentious issue for those in the red meat industry.
This led to the Senate investigation, which drew dozens of written submissions and heard from dozens of people who live on both cattle and sheep and vegetable protein.
RMAC chief executive Alastair James said it was undeniable that the recommendations of the Senate inquiry were a great outcome for Australian consumers and the red meat and livestock industry and that it was now extremely important to make them count.
“The recommendations are the first major step on the road to truth in labeling by strengthening Australia’s regulatory and enforcement framework to end the practice of denigrating meat products through misleading advertising,” said he declared.
“The 75,000 businesses and 445,000 employees in the red meat and livestock industry that support 24 million national consumers depend on it.”
The role of Senate inquiries is to dive deep into complicated issues and in this case the recommendations relate to at least three government ministers – agriculture, health and treasury – who will now have to respond.
If there is support for new laws, legislation can be drafted, which would then go through cabinet, back to a review committee, and then to the senate
Ministers could also adopt a regulatory approach that would progress more quickly.
Senator McDonald said she would now be knocking on ministers’ doors to push the recommendations forward.
With government approval, the process could be completed in as little as six months, she said.
“There was a consensus between the government and the opposition for the recommendations, a sign that this is the common sense approach and will therefore progress smoothly,” she said.
“However, we can now expect some food manufacturers to continue to push against the change so our work doesn’t stop there.”
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The story ‘Make it count’: Red meat leaders on vegan food survey first appeared on farm online.