Upset Hindus worldwide are seeking official apology from Mondelēz International Inc., “one of the world’s largest snacks companies” headquartered in Chicago, for non-disclosure of beef in some of its products; and immediate recall of all such items.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that it was shocking for Hindus to learn that some of its snacks/chocolates, which they had been eating for years, might contain beef while beef was not explicitly mentioned under the ingredients listed on the packages/boxes.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stated that some of the products of the Mondelēz brands—Cadbury, Alpen Gold, Freia, Maynards Bassett’s, Milka, etc.—contained gelatin, but source of gelatin was not mentioned under the “Ingredients” on packages/boxes; which might be beef, pork, etc.
Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism; Rajan Zed points out.
It was a very serious issue for the devotees and would severely hurt their feelings if they would come to know that they were unknowingly eating beef-laced popular snacks/chocolates, Zed noted. Is this how Mondelēz wanted us to “nourish life’s moments” with its snacks? Zed asked.
Rajan Zed further said that it was hard to comprehend that why Mondelēz, which claimed to “promote honesty and integrity in our business” as a Corporate Responsibility and boasted of “leading the future of snacking”, did not mention explicitly under the ingredients on the package/box the source of gelatin used in that product.
Now was the time for Mondelēz, whose “Values” included “We do what’s right”, to admit their error of not being transparent enough to mention in clear and simple terms what was inside the package/box so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices, Zed indicated. Moreover, in future, Mondelēz should explicitly list beef in the ingredients on the pack/box when beef was present in the product, Zed added.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken frivolously. No faith, larger or smaller, should be mishandled, Rajan Zed remarked.
Besides apologizing, Zed urged Mondelēz CEO Dirk Van de Put to recall all food items containing gelatin where source of gelatin was not clearly mentioned; and later replace these with items which markedly declared source of gelatin under the ingredients label.
Gelatin/gelatine is procured from various animal body parts and is usually used as a gelling agent in food (also used for clarification of vinegar, juices and wine). It can be from cows, pigs, fish, chicken, etc.; but there are animal-free and plant-based alternatives to gelatin like seaweed extracts.
Mondelēz, whose tagline is “Snacking made right”, claims to empower “people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world”. It has operations in over 80 countries and its net revenues in 2020 were reportedly about $27 billion.