Hindus urge Norway to require listing of gelatin source in food
Hindus are urging Government of Norway and Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) to mandate food manufacturers to mention the origin of gelatin, if used in the product, on its “Ingredients” label. Most of us are aware of the Jewish & Muslim ban on pork products, but we tend to forget that cattle are sacred to Hindu’s. We therefore are happy to present this article by Rajan Zed.
When the source of gelatin is not listed and if it is from cows, it is a serious non-disclosure affecting Hindu devotees and will therefore severely hurt their feelings when they were to know that they were inadvertently consuming food products made from cattle, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed stresses.
Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. The cow is regarded as sacred and has for a long time been venerated in Hinduism; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out in a statement in Nevada (USA) today.
– it is not required in Norway to declare the source of gelatin in products, according to Senior Adviser in the food authority (Mattilsynet), Nina Lødrup.
It would be shocking for the Norwegian Hindu community to learn that some of the popular food products, which they might had been eating for years, might contain gelatin originated from cows not listed among the ingredients listed on the boxes/packages to warn them, Rajan Zed indicated.
Zed further said that it was hard to comprehend that why corporations, both Norwegian and international, many times were not transparent enough to mention beef explicitly as part of the ingredients on the box/package when gelatin is part of the product so that consumers can make appropriate choices.
Rajan Zed urged His Majesty King Harald V, Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Minister of Agriculture and Food Jon Georg Dale and Mattilsynet Director General Harald Gjein to seriously and urgently look into this issue affecting Hindu-Norwegians, who had made lot of contributions to the nation and society.
Unilever among others does not comply
Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company Unilever, which “has been in business since the 1880s” and which claims to have “developed a clear and global approach to nutrition labeling”, in a response to Zed, noted: Gelatin “is used in some of our products to provide a lower fat, lower calorie product with a pleasing texture and consistency…We however cannot guarantee if the gelatin is derived from beef or pork”.
Many products of Wrigley, said to be the largest manufacturer and marketer of chewing gum in the world, contain gelatin that is sourced from cattle. Gelatin derived from cattle is found in the many products of multinational Kellogg’s, which claims to be “world’s leading cereal company”.
Gelatin/gelatine is procured from various animal body parts and is usually used as a gelling agent in food. It can be extracted from cattle, pigs, fish, chicken, etc.; but there are animal-free and plant-based alternatives to gelatin like seaweed extracts. 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, etc. It is also used for clarification of vinegar, juices and wine.
The Norwegian Food Authority, whose mission includes “fair trade”, is a governmental body, whose aim is, through regulations and controls, “to ensure that food and drinking water are as safe and healthy as possible for consumers…”.
Hinduism, the oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.