Media: Dr Hope Johnson and Dr Brodie Evans

Plant based meat patties

QUT Centre for Justice member Dr Hope Johnson and QUT Centre for Justice Visiting Fellow Dr Brodie Evans have been part of a research team, with Professor Christina Parker of Melbourne Law School, who have systematically analysed the Senate Inquiry into Definitions of Meat and Other Animal Products as lawmakers grapple with notions of competition, definitions and labelling of alternative proteins (new meat alternatives).

“A common concern among stakeholders was that alternative proteins were a threat to animal agriculture,” Dr Johnson said.

“But this shifted over the course of the Senate Inquiry, as stakeholders began to concede that plant-based alternative proteins were not necessarily in competition with meat and dairy.”

Hope JohsonDr Johnson (pictured, right) said that instead in Australia, both industries felt labelling laws were the problem – and the best solution would be to ensure ‘consumer clarity.’

“Animal agricultural industries across various nations have resisted this positioning in regulatory spaces by advocating for laws that restrict the use of meat and dairy terms on the labels of alternative proteins products,” Dr Johnson said.

“Despite the lack of consumer complaints about the labelling of meat alternatives to the ACCC, most stakeholders – and the outcome of the Inquiry – supported the introduction of mandatory qualifiers for plant-based meat and dairy alternatives, for example ‘plant-based burger”.

“The environmental credentials of both meat and cultivated meat are complex to verify and giving the consumer a full picture of all the environmental impacts is difficult on a standard label.”

To find out more, visit QUT news.

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