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France bans veggie sausages

France has passed a new law which will mean vegetarian products will no longer be allowed to carry meat or dairy descriptions.

The change in law will see an end to vegan “cheese” and vegetarian “sausages” being marketed after MPs agreed the terms were misleading to consumers.

The amendment to France’s Agriculture Bill was tabled by a farmer MP who said it was important to fight against false product descriptions. He argued that products such as cheese and steak should be reserved for foods of animal origin.

Manufacturers who break the new rules could face a fine of up to €300,000 (£263,000).

There is currently no suggestion that the UK plans to take a similarly stringent line, despite a ruling by the European Court of Justice last year that plant-based foods could not be sold in the EU using terms such as milk, butter and cheese. It is up to national courts to determine how to enforce the law.

A number of UK brands currently market vegetarian sausages. Meanwhile, Sainsbury’s is one example of a retailer that carries what it describes on its website as a ‘Vegan Sliced Cheese’ albeit manufacturer Violife does not use the word ‘cheese’ on-pack.