Australian politicians want the terms 'milk' and 'meat' banned from plant-based products

The Australian National Party reportedly plans to lobby the Federal Government to prohibit plant-based alternatives from using the terms 'milk', 'meat' and 'seafood' on their packaging.

The motion calls for the Coalition to "lead reform" and was passed at the Nationals federal council meeting, reports ABC.

The country's dairy industry has attempted to reclaim the word 'milk' from plant-based and vegan options, such as soy milk, almond milk and rice milk. The National Farmers Federation has also called for the traditional definition of 'milk' to be better enforced. 

New Zealand Federated Farmers has expressed an interest in the implementation of a similar rule change, if the motion is successful elsewhere, reports ABC.

Federated Farmers has also backed the stance of Australian dairy farmers.

The Nationals and Australian farming groups have also protested the packaging and supermarket placement of meat and dairy alternatives, claiming plant-based companies create ambiguity in the market.

The Nationals deputy leader and Minister for Agriculture, Sen. Bridget McKenzie, retweeted a post by the United Dairyfarmers of Victoria on Thursday, claiming "names like milk, chicken and meat for plant-based alternatives greatly confuses customers".

"There's ambiguity and, I would suggest, deliberate attempts by some of those plant-based protein manufacturers to trade on the good, honest work of our meet producers or our milk producers," McKenzie told ABC.

Under Food Standards Australia New Zealand's current labelling laws, the term 'milk' used singularly is inferred to mean cow's milk. If the milk is derived from another source, it should be described as such - for example, goat milk or coconut milk.

Federated Farmers have been contacted for comment.