Unilever won’t guarantee no beef in products

Unilever product
Knorr Chicken Poulet web
Unilever product

CHICAGO: Hindus in USA are hugely upset at Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company Unilever for non-disclosure of beef in some of its products; and have urged for an immediate recall of all such food items.

They maintain that it is shocking to learn that some of the Unilever 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/packages.

A response received by Rajan Zed, president of Universal Society of Hinduism, to an enquiry from Unilever Corporate Consumer Services on September two via email stated: “Gelatin is made from animal protein. It is used in some of our products to provide a lower fat, lower calorie product with a pleasing texture and consistency. The protein of animal origin is processed according to high standards of purity.

It is so highly refined, that it is no longer considered a meat product by the USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture). We cannot guarantee if the gelatin is derived from beef or pork.”

Consumption of beef is highly conflicting with Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism, Rajan Zed points out.

What happened to the Unilever claim – “We’ve developed a clear and global approach to nutrition labelling, to help people make healthy food choices” – Rajan Zed asked and added it was hard to comprehend that why Unilever did not mention beef explicitly under the ingredients on the box/package when it was part of the product inside.

It was a very serious issue for the devotees and would severely hurt their feelings when they come to know that they were unknowingly eating beef-laced popular food products, Zed noted. Unilever “has been in business since the 1880s”.

Some of Unilever brands include Knorr, Hellmann’s, Magnum, Blue Band, Becel/Flora, Best Foods, etc., including one carrying the same name as Hindu deity “Rama” (which sells margarine/cheese spreads, cooking fats, cream alternatives, etc.)

Co-headquartered in Rotterdam and London, Unilever, with over 400 brands, claims: On any given day, 2.5 billion people use Unilever products to feel good, look good and get more out of life – giving us a unique opportunity to build a brighter future… Seven out of every ten households around the world contain at least one Unilever product…€52.7 billion turnover in 2016.

Unilever United States Inc is headquartered in Englewood Cliffs (New Jersey) and Hindustan Unilever Limited is based in Mumbai (India).

Madhu Patel

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