AUSTRALIA's red meat, poultry and seafood industries have joined forces, using research based on a survey of 1000 consumers to oppose the current labelling of so-called 'fake meat' products.
The nine industry groups representing beef, sheepmeat, goat, chicken and seafood say misleading plant-based protein packaging is fooling the majority of consumers.
The ACCC also claimed in its response to a Senate inquiry that animal-derived food products and plant-based substitutes were located separately in retail outlets.
The meat industries' survey reveals six out of every 10 consumers would be duped by the current packaging of plant-based protein, which they say is disguised as meat.
Some 73 percent of the survey group says clearer labelling standards need to be introduced. A similar percentage also believed plant-based proteins should not be able to be described as meat, despite current legislation allowing this practice.
The 'real meat group says clearer labelling standards need to be introduced as Australians are being misled by manufactured plant-based protein packaging.
"Concerningly, vulnerable Australians are disproportionally impacted by misleading plant based protein labelling with elderly, those with English as a second language, and low-income consumers more likely to mistake the products," a statement issued by the group reads.
"With a Senate inquiry underway into how these plant and synthetic proteins can use the term and imagery of meat on their packaging, it's important we bring this to people's attention.
"The fact these heavily processed products which are primarily manufactured overseas or made from imported ingredients are allowed to be labelled as Australian meat or seafood is shameful."
The group said the research showed consumers have had enough.
"They want clearer standards to ensure truth in labelling for plant-based products, and so do we," the statement reads.
"More than half a million Australians collectively work together across the nation's meat, livestock and seafood industry supply chains to deliver the safest and most nutritious natural proteins to Australian families."
Submissions to the Senate inquiry close on August 13, with a report to be presented before the end of February 2022.
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