Food consultants, retail experts, farmers and butchers are coming together to demand a ban on vegan food names.

They claim that the use of the words sausage, bacon and steak to describe plant-based vegan imitations should be banned.

It comes as plant producers are being accused of using meat terms as a marketing ploy to boost sales.

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Britain is looking to follow the lead of France, which is already moving towards a ban on certain meaty words.

Professor Joshua Bamfield, director of the Centre for Retail Research, lived as a vegetarian for 20 years.

He said: "There should be a new rule saying vegan products cannot be called sausages, steaks or bacon. We ought to follow what the French are doing."

"You’d think Trading Standards would have been onto it already, as what it says on the tin is what should be inside."

The vegetarian added: "This is not an argument against people eating vegan food. But the idea you can call a product whatever you like, irrespective of what’s inside, goes against labelling laws. Research shows some vegan products are very refined.

"Calling something a ‘veggie sausage’ is a sales tactic as the producer thinks it will sell more than if it’s called a ‘vegan stick.’

"If they said the product was made in France when it was really made in Wales, the authorities would come down on them like a ton of bricks."

Nellie Nichols, one of Britain’s leading food consultants, who works with manufacturers and retailers, said: "Producers should be honest about which products are used. They should admit it is not the meat product, and not try to pull the wool over consumers eyes."

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"They need to make clear the product they are copying is from pea or soya protein and not say it is a version of a sausage, for example.

"It’s a marketing challenge, and will probably become a legal challenge."

But the vegan food-makers hit back as they claimed the wording help people decide how to cook and eat the products.

A spokesperson for The Vegan Society said: "As consumers are increasingly moving away from eating animals, the demand for vegan products is growing.

"There’s no denying that those in the animal farming and meat industries are feeling threatened by this and desperately trying to restrict the marketing of vegan products.

"These terms explain to people the context in which the plant-based food item can be eaten or prepared."

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