Hindus are urging C&H Sugar, which has a refinery in Crockett (California), to clearly mention bone char (identifying the source animal), if used to refine the sugar, on the packages sold in the market.
Sugar, coming out of Crockett refinery, does not mention bone char (from recycled cattle bones) on its packages, although it is used for refining. “We use natural charcoal, also known as bone char, in our Crockett, CA and Chalmette, LA refineries to remove impurities from the liquid sugar”, ASR Group Communications wrote to distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, responding to his query (C&H Sugar belongs to ASR Group, & the C&H refinery is located in Crockett).
When the sugar refining/filtration source was not listed and if it contained cow bones, it was a serious non-disclosure affecting the Hindu devotees and would severely hurt their feelings when they would come to know that they were inadvertently consuming beef-laced sugar; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, stressed in a statement in Nevada today.
Rajan Zed urged ASR Group CEO and C&H managers to seriously look into this issue of transparency and issue a formal apology.
Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism; Zed points out.
It was shocking for the Hindu community to learn that some of these popular C&H Sugar labels, which they had been eating for years, might contain traces of bone char said to be produced by charring cow bones while it was not explicitly mentioned on the boxes/packages to caution them, Rajan Zed indicated.
Zed further said that it was hard to comprehend that why a company like ASR Group (claimed to be “world’s largest refiner and marketer of cane sugar”) was not transparent enough to mention usage of cow bone char explicitly on the box/package when it was part of the process to refine/filter sugar at Crockett refinery; so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices.
ASR Group seemingly needed to re-look into its own “Guiding Principles”, where it listed “integrity” as one of its four “values”, and under which it claimed: “We are fair and honest with our associates, consumers, customers, suppliers and communities”; Rajan Zed noted.
ASR Group, which is owned by Florida Crystals Corporation & Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, whose history goes back to 1799 and which is headquartered in West Palm Beach (Florida), calls itself “world’s most successful and innovative cane sugar company”, with an annual production capacity of more than 6 million tons of sugar. C&H Sugar, “a leading brand of sugar in the United States’ West Coast markets…has been a pantry favorite of consumers since 1906”. C&H refinery in Crockett has an annual production capacity of 750,000 metric tons of sugar.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.