business news in context, analysis with attitude

In the UK, The Guardian reports that "more than a third of foods labelled vegan contained animal products, research has found, prompting experts to warn shoppers with severe allergies they face potentially 'tragic consequences.'

"Forensic scientists found traces of egg or milk in an array of goods that were labelled as vegan or plant-based, with trading standards bosses calling for legal protection to stop consumers being 'exploited by unethical food businesses.'

"Inspectors from Hampshire and Kent Scientific Services found 24 (39%) out of 61 products marked as vegan contained egg or dairy, including 13 dairy alternatives and 48 meat alternatives. In total, 90% were found to be unsatisfactory - meaning they failed for traces of dairy or inaccuracies in their labelling and nutritional information."

According to the story, "there is currently no legal definition for vegan food, allowing firms to market their products as being so even if they contain dairy or egg. And there is no threshold requirement for animal-derived products in the UK or the EU, unlike the prerequisite for trace amounts of gluten."

KC's View:

Not sure exactly how the penalty system works in the UK, but I hope that companies playing fast and loose with their definitions are hit hard.  And if that's not possible, they need to toughen the rules so they reflect a basic reality - Things need to be what companies say they are.