Expensive vegan products recalls of vegan label claimed products are on the rise as “certified vegan” and “verified vegan” brands are found to be contaminated with animal allergens. This is a serious health hazard that requires consumer protection controls to ensure vegan claimed products are truly free-from animal contamination. BeVeg Vegan certification is the only food and product safety standard and the only vegan certification trademark in the world to contemplate and consider vegan allergen controls. Accordingly, this protects the consumer, and ensures informed purchasing decisions.
BeVeg is an ISO accredited vegan certification standard with compulsory independent third-party audits. Third-party vegan certification is the highest quality system when it comes to product labeling and certifications because it ensures products have been comprehensively evaluated by an independent party for compliance with an accredited standard developed by industry experts and stakeholders.
The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine reports, “milk is now the most common cause of fatal anaphylaxis in older children across the United Kingdom….results showed 26% of deaths were caused by cow’s milk allergies, now the most common single cause of food anaphylaxis-related death in the UK. Results also showed a more than 300% increase in prescriptions for emergency anaphylaxis treatment. Similar hospital admission data have been reported in Australia and in the United States.”
Just consider the following undisputed incidences of Vegan labelled product recalls:
–Woman had fatal reaction after eating ‘vegan’ Pret wrap, coroner concludes due to undeclared dairy contamination.
–Amys Kitchen recalls Vegan Mac & Cheese due to undeclared milk and manufacturing error per Food Poisoning news.
–TaDah! Foods recalls hummus after undeclared milk allergen.
–Dream Pops recall Vegan ice cream after an allergic reaction due to undeclared milk.
–Global Vegetarian Foods Corp. recalled Happy Veggie World, Hearts Choices, and Vegefarm brand vegan products for undeclared egg contaminants.
–Da Cheng Vegetarian Food Inc. of El Monte, California, recalled its 45 cases of “Vegan Drumsticks” because they may contain undeclared egg protein.
–TJX Companies, Inc. of Framingham, Massachusetts, recalled certain vegan chocolate products because they may contain undeclared milk.
–Daiso California LLC recalled Tohato brand “Nagewa Snack” due to an undeclared milk derivative ingredient.
–Miso Brothers, Inc. dba Alpha Foods recalled its Meatless Breakfast Sandwiches and Burritos due to traces of undeclared milk protein.
–Falcon Import and Export LLC recalled Alsultan Sweets brand Baklava because it may contain undeclared milk.
–Power Life Nutrition recalled its “High Impact Plant Protein” because it may contain milk.
–Green Day Produce Inc. recalled packages of “Enoki Mushroom” because they could be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
–Zingerman’s Creamery recalled “Paw Paw Gelato” and “Harvest Pumpkin Gelato” because they may contain eggs.
–Cuisine Innovations Unlimited recalled Earth Grown Vegan Traditional Falafel and Garlic & Herb Falafel, due to the presence of Shiga toxin (animal feces)-E. coli.
Unfortunately, most vegan claims on plant based products are made with little to no oversight and with zero manufacturing facility controls in place. This yields inconsistent application as most vegan labelled products and vegan trademarks cannot be trusted to mean free from animal contamination. BeVeg is the only Vegan trademark with standards and allergen controls in place to protect the retailer, consumer, and brand owner. BeVeg is accredited to ISO 17065 for vegan product certification and to ISO 17067 as a recognized global conformity assessment program. BeVeg is the leading and only Vegan certification standard around the globe to apply consistent audit controls through the use of third-party certification audits.
BeVeg vegan certification protects brand owners from expensive product recalls, by implementing quality system controls into the manufacturing process, which thereby protects retailers from liability for undeclared animal allergens, and protects plant-based / flexitarian consumers who may specifically be looking for vegan products due to animal allergen sensitivities. “There are many reasons to seek a ‘vegan’ labelled product: animal welfare, environmental sustainability, positive health consequences are only some of the reasons people seek ‘Vegan’ certified claims. Other reasons may be allergen sufferers or those that follow a kosher diet may specifically be looking for foods without any animal contamination.
The multitude of reasons is what makes BeVeg vegan certification label claims a mainstream need, as we are the only organization to protect the consumer and supply chain with mechanisms in place to actually warrant, ensure and implement consistent vegan integrity claims,” says Carissa Kranz, esq., BeVeg founder & CEO. Notably, many of the products recalled listed above were labelled vegan or used a known licensed vegan trademark. “The problem is, a vegan trademark without audit standards does not protect the consumer, retailer, or the brand. Rather, it is a marketing ploy for increased sales in the plant-based arena”.
Products certified vegan against the BeVeg vegan certification program can place the BeVeg Vegan trademark on their product packaging, allowing consumers to recognize instantly that the product is officially Vegan. Companies can opt to bundle the BeVeg Vegan certification with other leading product safety certifications like organic, kosher, and non-GMO, with NSF, Food Chain ID, and the Orthodox Union (OU kosher). The bundle provides cost and time savings.