Montreal

Quebec cattle producers take issue with advertising of Beyond Meat burger

The federation says they shouldn't be allowed to call their product "plant-based meat" because it contains no animal products. They've launched a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Federation says they shouldn't be allowed to call their product 'plant-based meat'

Some Quebec cattle producers are concerned about how this U.S veggie burger producer markets itself. (Beyond Meat)

The Quebec Cattle Producers Federation has launched a complaint with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, saying that the American veggie burger company Beyond Meat has no right to advertise their product as "plant-based meat."

The product has been advertised heavily in Canada since it rolled out at A&W and popped up in local grocery stores like IGA and Rachelle-Béry.

Kirk Jackson, a cattle producer in Saint-Anicet and the vice-president of the Quebec Cattle Producers Federation, told CBC Montreal's Daybreak that he doesn't take issue with the existence of alternative protein options, but that the term meat is "reserved" for animal products.

"We have to uphold all the rules," he said. "We just want a fair, level playing field."

Kirk Jackson is a cattle producer in Saint-Anicet, Que. and serves as the vice-president of the Quebec Cattle Producers Federation. (Isaac Olson/CBC)

Jackson said the CFIA already defines meat as "carcass derived from an animal" and that it doesn't apply to vegan products.

"Do not use the term 'meat' because it already has its own definition," he said. "We just want to make sure that the consumer doesn't get confused in this."

He said he's concerned about seeing plant-based meat type products cropping up as filler in actual meat burgers or other patties.

As far as Jackson is concerned, companies like Beyond Meat can continue to make their sales pitch without describing their burger as "meat" in any form.

In a statement, Beyond Meat told CBC that it "takes regulatory compliance very seriously" and that it is "reviewing internally to ensure we comply with Canadian regulations."

Some Quebec cattle producers are concerned about how a U.S veggie burger producer markets itself. The company is called "Beyond Meat" and describes itself as a "plant based meat," something they say flouts official rules on food descriptions. Kirk Jackson, a cattle producer in Saint-Anicet and the Vice President of the Quebec Cattle Producers Federation, explains. 6:27

With files from CBC's Montreal Daybreak

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