France has suspended its ban on “meaty” labels for plant-based foods, which was due to come into force on 1st May 2024.

According to the French Council of State, there was “serious doubt about the legality of the decree”, leading the judge to suspend the new law.

The decree would have banned plant-based companies from using labels such as “steak”, “escalope” or “ham” in the marketing of their products, but would not have applied to products manufactured or marketed elsewhere.

The judgement was reached after the summary judge said that a ban from 1st May would “seriously and immediately harm the interests of the companies that market these products”, and follows the shelving of a similar plant-based labelling ban back in 2022.

South Africa overturns labelling ban

This comes at the same time that the High Court of Johannesburg in South Africa overturned a planned seizure of plant-based products using “meaty” labels, which was overturned following efforts by the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) to get the ban dropped.

Neo Momodu, CGCSA executive head: legal regulatory and stakeholder engagement, said that “this will further support the growth of a sector that has become an increasingly important source of alternative food for South Africans who have chosen a plant-based diet”.