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ANFACO-CECOPESCA, ANICE, AVIANZA and CEDECARNE launched the joint initiative #CadaCosaPorSuNombre last February. An action with which they aim to raise public opinion about the risks of an imbalance in the diet in the face of misinformation and confusion created by so-called imitation vegan products. 


Madrid, May 13, 2024. The strategic alliance formed by ANFACO-CECOPESCA (Organization of the sea-industry complex1), ANICE (National Association of Meat Industries of Spain), AVIANZA (Spanish Interprofessional Association of Poultry Meat) and CEDECARNE (Spanish Confederation of Meat Retailers ), which represents more than 150,000 workers, met today with the Secretary General of Agrarian Resources and Food Security, Fernando Miranda, to present the joint initiative #CadaCosaPorSuNombre and demand concrete actions from the government of Spain in defense of consumers. 

The main objective of this initiative is to raise public opinion about the true composition of said vegan foods and advocate for the need for action by Public Administrations, both at the Consumer level, reviewing Spanish shelves under information regulations. food for the consumer in terms of mentions on the packaging or advertising of the product, as well as developing new specific legislation at national and European level. 

The meeting follows the one held on February 20 with the General Directorate of Consumer Affairs, and the request to the AESAN for an Interpretative Note for public opinion that helps promote an adequate understanding of its nutritional values and the impacts that it has on the Diet can cause a displacement of animal protein that is essential for our body, along with the rest of the essential micronutrients. 

Firstly, during it the possibilities that, based on the current legislative framework (Regulation (EU) 1169/2011), allow for Consumer reviews to be carried out on the shelves were discussed, citing the recent success of collaboration with the Ministry in response to the complaint of product of HEURA FOODS that was called “MErlvza Steaks”.

Next, the current legal frameworks were analyzed in terms of sales names and commercial presentations, and the concept of evocation or unfair practices in comparative advertising (Directives 2006/114/EC and 2005/29/EC), suggesting the need for regulation at a national level that protects the denominations if they do not include said animal protein as long as the scientific species that applies. In addition, legislation that should be taken into account was reviewed, such as Royal Decree 474/2014, on the quality standard for meat derivatives, or Royal Decree 1521/1984 for fishery products, while characteristics for said products are included. 

Systematic non-compliance without legal action shows that it does not guarantee the differentiation of animal protein foods, and that an updated legal framework is needed. In this regard, the case of France was studied, which has recently raised the possibility of publishing a decree on this matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), which sought to avoid possible confusion or deception of the consumer when using terms traditionally associated with products of animal origin, but which are plant-based. It was agreed that once this issue was resolved in the CJEU, a similar initiative would be evaluated in the Spanish state. 

Finally, the need to promote the development and implementation of the delegated act contained in article 36 of the European Consumer Information Regulation, 1169/2011, to articulate vegan and vegetarian products, as a means of solution, was recalled by the Spanish government. harmonized. This request must be conveyed to the political and European parliamentary parties, so that they can activate it urgently after the next elections in June. Likewise, during the meeting, the historical context of the dispute between vegetable and dairy products was explained, where, until a few years ago, it was common to find vegetable products with names reserved for dairy products. 

This situation was resolved with the Judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of June 14, 2017, which established that plant products cannot be marketed with names such as "milk" or "cheese", which is considered a mandatory reference for the adequate protection of other products of animal origin. The truth behind imitation vegan foods Vegan products, increasingly present on supermarket shelves, are often promoted as healthier and more ethical alternatives to products of animal origin. 

However, a detailed analysis of its ingredients reveals a different reality. Made from plant protein additives and, in some cases, additives or ingredients that would make them considered ultra-processed, these foods are designed to mimic and displace their animal-based counterparts. Through deceptive advertising strategies, they are presented as beneficial options for health and the environment, using names such as "vegan tuna or chicken" making claims about supposed global environmental benefits not supported by verifiable data. From a nutritional point of view, they lack the benefits of products of animal origin, which offer a unique digestive matrix, rich in high-quality proteins, essential nutrients and Omega 3 fatty acids, as in oily fish, or vitamin B12 in meats, which vegan foods cannot match. 

Additionally and as a parallel work, the recently published directive 2024/825 regarding consumer empowerment for the ecological transition would provide new paths for the classification of behaviors that will be studied. There is a lack of certification to support the sustainability claims of these products, raising serious questions about their actual impact on the environment. 

In this context, the vital contribution of the Spanish food industry to the economy and social well-being is highlighted, as well as its globally recognized standards in terms of responsibility and animal welfare. 

The #CadaCosaPorSuNombre initiative reminds us of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, and that the consumer has access to authentic products.

The spokespersons for the different associations together with the Secretary General of Agrarian Resources and Food Security, Fernando Miranda.
Image from the #CadaCosaPorSuName campaign.