Supporters of plant-based foods have criticised the release of a Federal government report saying the industry needs to be regulated.
Food Frontier, one of many groups which told the Senate inquiry to leave the labels alone, say the move threatens to "stifle" Australia's growing plant-based food industry.
The group supported a dissenting report by inquiry member, Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson, who claimed the whole exercise was a waste of public money.
The Tasmanian Senator said the outcome of the inquiry chaired by Senator Susan McDonald was pre-determined.
Both Food Frontier and the Greens Senator said despite the many days of public hearings and submissions there had been no substantial evidence of widespread consumer confusion with the current labelling.
Food Frontier chief executive and founder Thomas King said Australian leaders need to act on the overwhelming evidence that protein diversification was necessary and support new protein industries alongside traditional ones.
MORE READING: Laws needed to fix fake meat labels.
In his dissenting report, Senator Whish-Wilson said the government would be better advised to support the alternative proteins sector through advice and active collaboration to implement voluntary industry labelling guidelines.
"Australian grain growers deserve the opportunity to benefit from new market opportunities that will provide more competition in the market, security of an ongoing customer, and value-add premiums for their product," he said.
The Senator said red meat industry was worried the reputation of its products were at risk from the plant-based protein industry.
"Yet, any consideration of the evidence finds this not to be the case. It is a betrayal of farmers to prioritise this issue while actively ignoring and gaslighting on the wider threat to the entire agriculture industry that is climate change," he said.
Mr King said in order to best serve Australian consumers, any government decisions on the Senate report's recommendations should continue to be based on evidence.
"It's encouraging to see that the dissenting report offers productive suggestions as to how the government can support the burgeoning alternative proteins industry to maximise its benefits for our nation," he said.
"Food Frontier looks forward to continuing our work with all forward-thinking government leaders to enable Australia to reap the benefits alternative proteins offer for our farmers, manufacturers and consumers."
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