CJEU bans non animal milk based dairy descriptions

In C-422/16 BSV v TofuTown.com GMBH the CJEU interpreted the requirement in Regulation 1308/2013 that for a product to trade with a description associated with a dairy based product (such as “milk”, “cheese”, “cream” etc) then that product must be one which is based on the “normal mammary secretion obtained from one or more milking” (i.e. animals’ milk).  Whilst there is a list of exceptions to this requirement (such as “coconut milk”) this exception did not cover the trader in question’s products, including Tofu butter, “Veggie cheese” and “plant cheese”.  The CJEU declined to interpret the list of exceptions widely, effectively now banning a wide variety of products that may previously have adopted a dairy description but which were not based on animal milk, such as soy milk or soy cheese.