Manufacturers are not permitted to refer to non-meat items by the term of meat, per government orders.
The 9,000-member Consumer Goods Council of South Africa (CGCSA) entered an urgent motion in court to halt the confiscations, which were set to take effect on Monday.
The FSA’s “arbitrary” seizure of plant-based meat substitutes will also be challenged, the statement adds, on the grounds that neither it nor the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform, and Rural Development (DALRRD) have the jurisdiction to designate products under regulation.
If carried out, the seizure would be the result of a DALRRD directive requiring meat substitute makers to modify the labeling of their products in order to avoid utilizing language designated for meat products. After the announcement from last week, the FSA was prepared to carry out the seizure.
Industry groups have expressed concern about the contentious decision to enforce labeling requirements for meat substitutes. According to Spur, US giant Beyond Meat has postponed certain shipments to South Africa out of concern for product seizures.
The CGCSA claims that fake meat products are not covered by the disputed legislation. Additionally, it stated that there was no proof that customers had mistaken the content of analog foods for real meat.
“CGCSA will seek to overturn the FSA’s decision to arbitrarily confiscate meat analogue goods on appeal,” according to the statement.
The Council also urged everyone involved to work together to adopt appropriate regulations.