European Parliament, Brussels
The EU has reached a compromise today on the status of “veggie burgers”. It took over nine hours of fierce debates in the European Parliament for a decision to be voted by MEPs regarding the fate of what many call “food market anomalies”. The first three hours were dedicated to explaining the MEPs from Central and Eastern Europe what a “veggie burger” is. Nearly six hours were then spent on one-to-one psychotherapy with these MEPs, in order to treat their post-traumatic disorder caused by the initial three hour session. Voting the proposal took 30 seconds, after one MEP from the European People’s Party (EPP) shouted in the Parliament’s chamber “Why don’t we add bacon to those bloody burgers and call it a day?”. The final proposal was voted 704 to 1, with one EPP member from Viktor Orban’s FIDESZ mistakingly voting “NO” – he was playing Candy Crush and clicked on the wrong voting option.
Initially, the Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) complained that the proposal was not green enough. This was solved when EPP suggested packaging for “veggie burgers” to be green, so that consumers are aware about the kind of product they are choosing. The MEPs from Renew Europe – Parliament’s third force – agreed on condition that big corporations like McDonald’s, Burger King or KFC can also choose to sell their burgers in green packaging even if they are not “veggie”.
“These big corporations are going to great lengths in greening their businesses green. Just the other day I went past a McDonald’s restaurant in Bucharest and their terrace was full of plants – imagine how much CO2 they’re capturing from the atmosphere. Just imagine, because I have no idea.” said Dacian Ciolos, president of Renew Europe.
As for “veggie burger” packaging colour & labelling, it was also decided that a scale from A to L will be applied in order to distinguish among those specific products. “Veggie burgers” labelled A and coloured light green will have A Lot of Bacon, while those with L and coloured dark green, Less Bacon. The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) also introduced an amendment by which those veggie burgers containing bacon and meat patties, can be labeled A+, A++ or A+++ depending on the number of 100g meat patties.
“It’s been a productive day. We are clearly showing how important is for us to satisfy the ever changing needs of the European consumers, while fighting climate change with these kind of radical measures. Not to mention that what we accomplished today is a great boost to the 2030 Total Meat Consumption Roadmap we adopted back in 2016″ said Manfred Webber, President of EPP.