French consumers should be encouraged to transition from processed red meat to plant-based foods

ProVeg International speaks out as health authorities confirm link between processed red meat and colon cancer

French consumers should be encouraged to transition to a more plant-based diet in the light of a report out this week from the country’s health authorities linking processed red meat to colon cancer.

The report, from France’s national food agency, ANSES, was issued on Tuesday (12 July) and recommends that people limit their intake of processed red meat because the presence of nitrates and nitrites in the products increase the risk of colon cancer. It follows a review of the scientific evidence collected by the WHO, which classified processed red meat as carcinogenic to humans seven years ago.

“Consumers should be encouraged to transition to plant-based products, not just because of environmental and welfare reasons, but also because of health considerations,” Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President of ProVeg International, said.

“As part of encouraging a transition to a plant-based diet, we are urging governments to allow plant-based food companies to continue to use “meaty” names for their products, such as “veggie sausages”. Unfortunately, France published a labeling Decree in June which will ban such names, which we believe is totally counter-productive,” de Boo said.

The specific labeling Decree banning words such as “steak” and “sausage” for plant-based foods is due to come into force in France in October 2022 and will make France the first country in the EU to impose such restrictions.

Labeling bans are being implemented globally on plant-based foods, most recently in South Africa, France and Turkey. For further details, see the ProVeg press release on the subject.



Notes to Editors

For media inquiries, contact:

Jasmijn de Boo, Vice President ProVeg International, at [email protected]


About ProVeg International

ProVeg is an international food awareness organization working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultured alternatives.

ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.

ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award.

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