The Quebec Cattle Producers alongside the Union of Agricultural Producers of Quebec have filed an official complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to stop the "Beyond Meat" brand from using the phrase plant-based "meat" on their products.
Beyond Meat burgers and other vegetarian products became available in Canadian grocery stores at the beginning of this month, while their burgers have been for sale at quick-serve franchises like A&W for months.
The meat producers are making the claim that calling these vegetarian products "meat" is a method of "false representation," according to TVA Nouvelles.
The meat producers are hoping the Canadian Food Inspection Agency will side with them and stop plant-based food producers from using the word "meat" in their advertisements - which would likely mean the removal of the word "meat" from all packaging.
In the TVA Nouvelles article the president of the Producteurs Agricoles du Quebec makes the statement that in his experience, "meat comes from an animal" and he's worried using the word "meat" for plant-based products will "lead to confusion."
The primary concern, according to the President of the PBQ, is that plant-based products don't have the same nutritional value as similar looking meat-based products.
He also notes that meat products are "completely pure," while the plant-based patties, for example, are "a processed product" made in California with "about forty ingredients."
To their credit, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency does, in fact, define "meat" on their website as the "edible part of a carcass" - which does imply animal involvement in the production process.
However, the claim that consumers are going to be confused or mislead by the use of the word "meat" is weak. Most people eating these products know full well there are no animal by-products involved - that's exactly why they're eating it.
Keep an eye on this space for updates.
*Translations are my own.