In October 2020, the European Parliament voted yes to Amendment 171, a proposal calling for heavy restrictions on plant-based food. If also adopted by the European Council, it would not only make it harder for people to choose plant-based food and slow down the development of the sustainable food sector, but also contradict the EU’s own goals on sustainability and public health. And all this just because the milk lobby seems to think that people can’t tell the difference between milk and, well, not milk.
But people aren’t stupid, right? At least that was our starting point when launching a campaign to create awareness around Amendment 171 and its consequences—and to encourage people to sign the petition asking the EU to reject the proposal. But can oat drink be mistaken for milk, really? We decided to conduct a bunch of focus groups to find out.
Spoiler alert: Turned out Europeans aren’t stupid, what a non-surprise! And looking at the number of petition signatures, it seems like a lot more people knew this already. As we’re writing this text, the petition signers have given the EU almost half a million reasons to reject the amendment.
Now, fingers crossed and to be continued—whenever the EU decides on a date to decide on AM171, that is.
We did it!
On May 24th, the European Parliament finally decided to withdraw Amendment 171 by a vote of 124–37. And even though AM171 was a crazy stupid idea right from the beginning, this is a really important win: It not only shows that 450,000 European citizen signatures can make a difference, but also signals that the EU understands a censorship on plant-based food would be a huge drawback for the future of our planet. Oat drink toast!