Starburst Fruit Chews displayed at United States of America food manufacturers.Photo:SUPPLIED
Hindu is urging United States of America Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to mandate food manufacturers to mention the source of gelatin, if used in the product, on its “Ingredients” label.
Gelatin or gelatine, is procured from various animal body parts and is usually used as a gelling agent in food and it can be from cows, pigs, fish, chicken, etc.; but there are animal-free and plant-based alternatives to gelatin like seaweed extracts.
President of Universal Society of Hinduism Rajan Zed stressed when the source of gelatin is not listed and if it is beef, it is a serious non-disclosure affecting the Hindu devotees and would severely hurt their feelings when they would come to know that they were accidentally consuming beef-laced popular food products.
Consumption of beef, he said is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs.
“Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism; Zed, who is, points out in a statement in Nevada today,” he added.
Zed said it was shocking for the Hindu community to learn that some of these popular food products, which they had been eating for years, might contain beef while beef was not explicitly mentioned under the ingredients listed on the boxes and packages to caution them,” he said.
“It was hard to comprehend that why corporations were not transparent enough to mention beef explicitly under the ingredients on the box or package when it was part of the product inside so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices,” Zed said.
According to the Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company Unilever, been in business since the 1880s, Gelatin “is used in some of our products to provide a lower fat, lower calorie product with a pleasing texture and consistence, we cannot guarantee if the gelatin is derived from beef or pork.
Currently, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) regulations, reported that the source of gelatin has to be identified.
FDA’s Health Communications Specialist, Mary Ellen Taylor said “Gelatin must be listed if it is an ingredient; on the other hand the source does not have to be listed.
According to Wrigley, the largest manufacturer and marketer of chewing gum in the world reports products which contain gelatin that is sourced from beef include: all Starburst, Fruit Chews varieties (Original, Tropical, Sweets and Sours, FaveReds, Summer Splash), life savers, spear-O-Mint, pep-o-Mint and wint-o-green, sugar mints also contain stearic acid, which is an animal-based ingredient that is derived from beef and pork, Altoids® mints (Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen, Cinnamon); Life Savers® Gummies; all Starburst® GummiBursts (Original, Sours, Flavor Duos) all products sold in the United States contain gelatin that come from a mix of beef and pork.
However, the Gelatin is an ingredient in some cereals, ice creams, candies, yogurts, desserts, marshmallows, aspic, trifles, dips, fruit snacks, sour cream, margarine, frosting, confections, gums, Chinese soup dumplings, puddings, nondairy creamers, cakes, cream cheese, lozenges also used for clarification of vinegar, juices and wine.