Field Roast has agreed testing method that avoids using live animals

Field Roast has agreed testing method that avoids using live animals

US vegan food supplier The Field Roast Grain Meat Co. has reformulated its meat-free sausage products to meet Canadian regulations and enable its return to the market.

Canada's regulations require vegetarian alternatives to match the nutritional profile of animal-based products. The regulations also stipulate products must be tested on live animals, which Field Roast opposes.

Field Roast stopped selling in the country after a competitor complained to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency the company's products did not meet regulations because they were not labelled "simulated meat product". The products also contained wheat gluten, an ingredient not recognised as "a complete protein" and needed to be tested for a "protein efficiency ratio", which involved live animals, Field Roast said.

However, the Seattle-based company claimed it had received an "outpouring of support and outrage by Canadian consumers". It pointed to a petition gathered 74,000 signatures.

Field Roast has added pea protein and a "vitamin fortification mixture" to meet Canada's regulations. The company said it had been allowed to use "an alternative method" for testing that did not involve any animals.

"Although many CFIA regulators agree that the regulations are outdated, we realised that it would take significant time to actually make progress on changing those regulations," a Field Roast spokesperson told just-food. "We decided to temporarily reformulate our sausages and re-introduce them to the Canadian Market, meanwhile starting the Plant Foods Council to continue advocating for those changes.

The Plant Foods Council is a trade association for meat-free food manufacturers. "The Plant Foods Council will work to update Canadian food labelling regulations and promote the health and ecological benefits of a plant-based diet," the company said.