EAEU: Plant-based products can't use dairy names

The Department of Technical Regulation and Accreditation of the Eurasian Economic Union explained the possibility of using the names of dairy products in plant-based food.

What is a plant-based "dairy"?

Recently, vegetarian and vegan products have become very popular all over the world. Many of these plant-based products imitate animal products. On the shelves you can find soy "sausages" and "cutlets", vegan coconut "sour cream", "butter" based on vegetable fat or almond and oatmeal "milk". Many countries and international organizations have taken legal action to regulate the use of such nomenclature.

The nomenclature must not mislead clients

The National Union of Milk Producers (Soyuzzmoloko) sent a letter to the Department of Technical Regulation and Accreditation of the Eurasian Economic Union with a request to assess the validity of using names typical for the dairy industry on the websites of commercial networks and producers of plant-based products in relation to this category of goods.

In this statement, the Department explains that the use of dairy-related terms is not permitted in naming plant-based products unless those dairy products and their ingredients have been used in production of these products. Thus, we cannot talk about plant-based milk or cheeses. According to experts, using the names of dairy products in the names of plant-based products, such as "cheese", "yoghurt", "milk", etc., if they are not an ingredient or one of the ingredients of a given product, may mislead the buyer.

Nomenclature of plant products and technical regulations

The use of such nomenclature raises doubts as to the correctness also from the point of view of technical regulations. The technical regulations CU TR 022/2011 "Food products and their labeling" lays down general requirements for creating names of food products. According to it, the name of a food product must reliably characterize it and make it possible to distinguish it from other food products. The labeling may also contain additional information, including "additional name" - a word or phrase that can complement the name of the food. However, experts are of the opinion that the invented name in the case of plant products cannot directly refer to a dairy product.