Hindus in the United States and India are reportedly seeking an apology from Kellogg Co. (NYSE: K) and the resignation of CEO John A. Bryant for failing to disclose the presence of beef in some of the company’s products. They also want the company immediately to recall all items containing beef from the market.
At issue is the presence of gelatin, typically made from cattle or swine, in a variety of Kellogg products. Consumption of beef products conflicts with Hindu beliefs.
According to a press release from Rajan Zed, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, Kellogg admitted in an email that gelatin is included in certain products:
Gelatin derived from beef is found in the following: All varieties of Kellogg’s® Frosted Pop-Tarts®, All varieties of Kellogg’s® Frosted Mini-Wheats® cereal, All varieties of Kellogg’s® Rice Krispies Treats™ cereal. Some of our foods contain gelatin that is derived from either beef or pork; which include: All Kellogg’s® fruit flavored snacks, All Kellogg’s® Krave Treat Bars.
Mr. Zed also noted “that it was shocking for Hindus to learn that some of the cereals, etc., they had been eating for years contained beef while there was no mention of beef under the ingredients mentioned on the boxes/packages.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers gelatin to be a “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS) food and does not appear to require specific labeling.
While labeling may not be required, Mr. Zed reminds Kellogg that there are 1.1 billion Hindus on earth, about 3 million of whom live in the United States.