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Tofu Steaks? Developments on the Naming and Marketing of Plant-based Foods in the Aftermath of the TofuTown Judgement

  • Ignacio CARREÑO and Tobias DOLLE
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Ignacio Carreño is a Senior Associate and Tobias Dolle an Associate at FratiniVergano – European Lawyers, a law firm with offices in Brussels and Singapore that specialises in international trade and food law. The topics addressed in this report were already discussed in FratiniVergano’s Trade Perspectives©, Issue No 13 of 1 July 2016, Issue No 13 of 30 June 2017 and Issue No 9 of 4 May 2018 (available at www.fratinivergano.eu/en/trade-perspectives/, last accessed 13 July 2018).

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1 Directive 1999/4/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 February 1999 relating to coffee extracts and chicory extracts, OJ 1999 L 66/26–29.

2 Council Directive 2001/113/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to fruit jams, jellies and marmalades and sweetened chestnut purée intended for human consumption, OJ 2002 L 10/67–72.

3 Council Directive 2001/110/EC of 20 December 2001 relating to honey, OJ 2002 L 10/47–52.

4 OJ 2013 L 347/671–854.

5 UK Food Standards Agency, Food Information Regulations 2014: Summary guidance for food business operators and enforcement officers in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, available at <www.food.gov.uk/sites/default/files/media/document/fir-guidance2014.pdf> (accessed 13 July 2018).

6 German Food Book. Guidelines for meat of 25 May 2015, available at <www.deutsche-lebensmittelbuch-kommission.de/sites/default/files/downloads/leitsaetzefleisch.pdf> (accessed 13 July 2018). The German Food Book is a collection of guidelines describing the manufacture, nature and characteristics of food. It is drafted by the German Food Book Commission in several expert committees and published by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (Bundesministerium für Ernährung und Landwirtschaft, BMEL). The legal basis is § 15 and § 16 of the Food, Commodities and Feed Code (Lebensmittel-, Bedarfsgegenstände- und Futtermittelgesetzbuch, LFGB).

7 Case C-422/16, Verband Sozialer Wettbewerb eV v TofuTown.com GmbH (TofuTown) ECLI:EU:C:2017:567, para 52. See case review D Pisanello and L Ferraris, “Ban on Designating Plant Products as Dairy: Between Market Regulation and Over-Protection of the Consumer” (2018) 9 European Journal of Risk Regulation 170.

8 Case C-422/16, para 49 (referring to judgments of 6 December 2005, C 453/03, C 11/04, C 12/04 and C 194/04, ABNA and Others, EU:C:2005:741, para 63, and 30 June 2016, C 134/15, Lidl, EU:C:2016:498, para 46).

9 Case C-422/16, para 50.

10 Case C-422/16, para 51.

11 OJ 2018 C/196, p 1–14 of 18 June 2018.

12 The document ‘Questions and Answers on the application of the Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers (Part II)’ is available at <www.wko.at/branchen/handel/lebensmittelhandel/faqs-lmiv-teil-2.pdf> (accessed 13 July 2018). The document notes that the Commission’s Health and Food Safety Directorate-General (DG SANTE) had discussed each section of the document in the context of a Working Group with experts from EU Member States.

13 The French text provides: “Les dénominations associées aux produits d’origine animale ne peuvent pas être utilisées pour commercialiser des produits alimentaires contenant une part significative de matières d’origine végétale”.

14 Available at <www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/amendements/0627/CION-ECO/CE2044.asp> (accessed 13 July 2018).

15 The adopted text is available at <www.assemblee-nationale.fr/15/ta/ta0121.asp> (accessed 13 July 2018).

16 The adopted text is available at <www.senat.fr/leg/tas17-132.html> (accessed 13 July 2018).

17 Frankfurter Rundschau, Darf die Vegi-Wurst weiter Wurst heißen?, 15 August 2017, available at <www.fr.de/politik/vegane-curry-wurst-darf-die-vegi-wurst-weiter-wurst-heissen-a-1332130> (accessed 13 July 2018).

18 Parliamentary questions, Deception with vegetarian and vegan foods, 4 May 2016, available at <www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+WQ+E-2016-003771+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN and http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?pubRef=-//EP//TEXT+WQ+E-2016-008161+0+DOC+XML+V0//EN> (accessed 13 July 2018).

19 Food Ingredients First, EU industry calls for protection of dairy produce in future legislation of “misleading” descriptions, 30 April 2018, available at <www.foodingredientsfirst.com/news/eu-industry-calls-for-protection-of-dairy-produce-in-future-legislation-of-misleading-descriptions.html> (accessed 13 July 2018).

20 European Dairy Association (EDA), EDA Guidelines on the principles and enforcement of the Protection of Dairy Terms <eda.euromilk.org/fileadmin/user_upload/Public_Documents/EDA_Position_papers_-_Fact_Sheets/Guidelines/2018_06_21_EDA_Guidelines_on_the_Protection_of_Dairy_Terms_FINAL.pdf> (accessed 13 July 2018).

21 Verbraucherschutzministerkonferenz, Definitionen vegan-vegetarisch, available at <www.verbraucherschutzministerkonferenz.de/documents/top20_definition_vegan_und_vegetarisch_1510317864.pdf> (accessed 13 July 2018); Verbraucherschutzministerkonferenz, Gründe und Ziele der Definitionen für die Begriffe vegan und vegetarisch, available at <www.verbraucherschutzministerkonferenz.de/documents/top20_gruende_und_ziele_der_definitionen_fuer_die_begriffe_vegan_und_vegetarisch_1510317878.pdf> (accessed 13 July 2018).

22 OJ 2011 C 236E/187–234.

23 German Food Book, Decision of the temporary vegetarian and vegan food Commission of 8 March 2018, available at <www.bmel.de/DE/Ernaehrung/Kennzeichnung/Lebensmittelbuch/FachausschussSachstandsberichte/Fachausschuss_veg-Lebensmittel_Sachstandsbericht.html> (accessed 13 July 2018).

* Ignacio Carreño is a Senior Associate and Tobias Dolle an Associate at FratiniVergano – European Lawyers, a law firm with offices in Brussels and Singapore that specialises in international trade and food law. The topics addressed in this report were already discussed in FratiniVergano’s Trade Perspectives ©, Issue No 13 of 1 July 2016, Issue No 13 of 30 June 2017 and Issue No 9 of 4 May 2018 (available at www.fratinivergano.eu/en/trade-perspectives/, last accessed 13 July 2018).

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European Journal of Risk Regulation
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