Dutch-British transnational consumer goods company Unilever’s CEO Paul Polman met an outrage from upset Hindus in USA who sought official apology over non-disclosure of beef in some of its products and demanded immediate recall of all those food items.
President of Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) expressed, “It’s shocking for Hindus 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.”
Unilever Corporate Consumer Services on September 2 as a response to Zed’s enquiry 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.”
Co-headquartered in Rotterdam and London, Unilever has over 400 brands including Knorr, Hellmann’s, Magnum, Blue Band, Becel/Flora, Best Foods, etc.
“Now was the time for Unilever to admit their error of not being transparent enough to mention in clear and simple terms what was inside the package so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices”, Zed indicated. Moreover, in future, Unilever should explicitly list beef in the ingredients on the box/pack when beef was present in the product, he mentioned.
Chetan Rajhans, spokesperson of Sanatan Sanstha said, “If Uni-lever Company uses beef in its eatable products then we can file complaint against them. Politics has begun in India after a ban was imposed on beef but such incidents don’t occur in US. US gives more importance to the development of its economy. We will take this issue at the international forum and ask the company to withdraw the use of beef.”
Jitendra Dhavas, spokesperson of Forum for Hindu awakening US Australia organization said, “I had obtained information about Uni-lever Company. There are many other organisation, which use beef. They must mention about the contents of the packet to create awareness among customers. We are also trying to create awareness among food and temples worldwide.”