Food Law News - UK - 2004

FSA News Item, 11 November 2004

LABELLING - Advice to be drafted on vegetarian and vegan labelling

The Agency is to draft best practice advice on vegetarian and vegan labelling that will include advisory definitions of these terms. The draft advice will be sent out for a full public consultation in the summer of 2005.

The Agency has been aware of consumer concerns relating to food being labelled as suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and held a stakeholder meeting to discuss vegetarian and vegan labelling on 12 October 2004 . Notes of the meeting are given below.

Meeting Notes

The Chair explained that this stakeholder meeting on vegetarian and vegan labelling was being held so stakeholders could inform the Food Standards Agency of their views and the rationale for them. There would be no attempt at the meeting to achieve a consensus view on issues.

Prior to the meeting the Agency had circulated a background paper that included information on the legal position with respect to vegetarian and vegan labelling and on definitions used by different stakeholders. Alette Addison gave an introductory talk which:

The background paper and the presentation informed the subsequent discussion. The following points emerged in discussion.




Cross contamination

Other criteria

The criteria for use of vegetarian and vegan related logos and trademarks incorporated other criteria related to the manner of food production. There was general recognition that there was a clear distinction between criteria for use of these, which were in part commercial matters, and the narrower definitions of vegetarian and vegan foods. It followed that these other criteria should not be part of any definitions.

After the discussion, the Chair said that the Agency would produce a note of the meeting and circulate it to those present. He thanked everyone for an extremely useful, clear and illuminating discussion. The Agency would consider all of the points made, and decide what were the appropriate next steps. Stakeholders would be informed in due course.

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.