• Hannah Phillips

Are Meat Substitutes Butchering the Aussie Name?

Australia's quality meat brand may be under threat with reports that half of the beef sold as "Australian" overseas, is originating from somewhere else, and coming from animals such as rats, dogs and horses.

Wayne had the story on the Morning Workflow.

China isn't the only place potentially damaging the Australian meat brand, with mislabelling of meat substitutes back at home also causing a serious issue for farmers and consumers alike.

The Victorian Farmers Federation (VFF) is urging industry and government to act immediately on the issue to ensure that meat vocabulary is reserved for protein products derived from the traditional and natural husbandry and slaughter of livestock. Leonard Vallance, President of the Victorian Farmers Federation Livestock Group said:“It’s unacceptable to mislead consumers by exploiting meat vocabulary when marketing a product that is not derived from traditional livestock production. "Livestock farmers have a right to protect the sovereignty of meat production, a tradition that goes back to the dawn of time." The move already occurred in France earlier this year, when a legislative amendment was tabled to address certain commercial practices misleading for the consumer.

These practices associated terms such as ‘steak’, ‘fillet’, ‘bacon’ and ‘sausage’ with alternative protein products that are not solely, or not at all, composed of meat. The VFF aims to take this further in Australia, by including ‘lab-grown protein’, sometimes referred to as ‘clean meat’, as a misleading product name. “The discussion of whether or not lab-grown protein has a place in society is irrelevant; we need to protect our relationship with consumers”, Mr Vallance said.