Hindus have beef with US gelatin law

By Oscar Rousseau contact

- Last updated on GMT

Gelatin is in sweets and chewing gum, but the animal it derived from is not always listed on food packaging
Gelatin is in sweets and chewing gum, but the animal it derived from is not always listed on food packaging

Related tags: Food, Fda

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is under pressure from Hindus, who want labelling laws changed to reveal if gelatin, used as an ingredient in food products, contains beef or pork.

Under current FDA regulations, gelatin must be listed as an ingredient if it is used, but the label is not required to detail the animal the gelatin is derived from. This means Muslims and Hindus could have unknowingly eaten pork or beef for years.
Consumption of beef is taboo for Hindus​, who view cows as sacred. Pork consumption is forbidden in Islam.

It is unclear why attention has turned to this issue now, but Hindus have called on the FDA to mandate food companies to reveal the source of gelatin on packaging.

‘Shocking’

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed called the issue a “serious non-disclosure​” that could upset Hindus, who may have inadvertently eaten beef-tainted food. Zed said it was “shocking​” for the Hindu community to learn that popular items, including sweets, chewing gum and snack bars, could contain beef-derived gelatin that is not declared on food packaging. He added it was “hard to comprehend​” why the big behemoths of the food industry were not “transparent enough​” to mention beef under the ingredients section of their packaging.

He said the Dutch-British corporation Unilever told him gelatin “is used in some of our products to provide a lower-fat, lower-calorie product with a pleasing texture and consistency… We cannot guarantee if the gelatin is derived from beef or pork.​”

Gelatin is made using a by-product of beef, chicken fish or pigs, and food manufacturers use it as a gelling agent in food. While animal-derived gelatin is more popular, there are plant-based alternatives, such as seaweed extract.

The FDA could not be reached for comment at the time of writing.

Related news

Show more

Related products

OxiKan

Shelf life protection has now become cleaner & simpler

Kancor Ingredients Limited | 05-Jun-2018 | Technical / White Paper

Ever wished your packaged foods stayed fresh longer? Well, the major reason that affects the food deterioration is the auto-oxidation of lipids which impacts...

From trust grows success

From trust grows success

K+G Wetter | 09-Oct-2017 | Data Sheet

The award winning company Wünsch’s Fleischspezialitäten sets new quality standards for meat products – using machines made by K+G Wetter.

Related suppliers

comments

Post your comment

We will not publish your email address on the website

These comments have not been moderated. You are encouraged to participate with comments that are relevant to our news stories. You should not post comments that are abusive, threatening, defamatory, misleading or invasive of privacy. For the full terms and conditions for commenting see clause 7 of our Terms and Conditions ‘Participating in Online Communities’. These terms may be updated from time to time, so please read them before posting a comment. Any comment that violates these terms may be removed in its entirety as we do not edit comments. If you wish to complain about a comment please use the "REPORT ABUSE" button or contact the editors.