WORDS like 'meat', 'beef', 'lamb' and 'milk' could be off the table for protein products if the NSW Farmers get their way, after the group told a senate inquiry they want the terms to be banned.
NSW Farmers president James Jackson said plant-based products will be an important part of the future, with demand for protein expected to be so high by 2050 that animal meat will not be able to fill the gap alone.
However, the inquiry into definitions of meat and other animal products heard there should be a clear point of different between them and traditional meat.
"When you hear the word 'meat', you think cow or sheep or chicken," Mr Jackson said.
"There is a growing demand for non-meat alternatives and NSW Farmers supports further research and development into agricultural products including alternative proteins, but at the end of the day 'meat' means 'meat'.
"We believe there is room in the marketplace for both animal and plant-based proteins, but there needs to be clear labelling in place."
NSW Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall said he had been banging this drum for quite a long time.
While agreeing the 'alternative meat' is part of the future, he said consumers must be clearly notified when they're buying products that just "mimic" the real thing.
"We believe in truth in labelling, I am all for plant-based products and all for alternative foods that are grown organically here in Australia," he said.
"They're all an important part of providing consumers with choice and an important part of a balanced and healthy diet.
"However what I don't support is products that aren't something and mimic something else trying to get someone to buy their product by essentially flying under an existing, well established and understood banner."
He said the likes of soy, almond and oat milk are major examples of items that have benefited from using a label that, technically speaking, doesn't actually apply to them.
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