Upset Hindus are seeking an official apology from President of Wrigley, said to be the largest manufacturer and marketer of chewing gum in the world, for non-disclosure of beef in some of its products; and immediate recall of all such items.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, said that it was shocking for Hindus to learn that some of the Wrigley candies, etc., they had been eating for years, contained beef while the ingredient was not explicitly mentioned under those listed on the boxes/packages.
“Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs. Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism,” said Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism.
A response from Silvia Moctezuma of Wrigley Customer Service for an enquiry received on 17 August via email, however, admitted—All Starburst Fruit Chews varieties (Original, Tropical, Sweets & Sours, FaveReds, Summer Splash) contain gelatin that is sourced from beef. It also stated that the products sold in the United States contain gelatin that come from a mix of beef and pork. The email listed Altoids mints (Peppermint, Spearmint, Wintergreen, Cinnamon); Life Savers Gummies; and all Starburst GummiBursts (Original, Sours, Flavor Duos) as products that contain gelatin that comes from pork and beef.
“Our Life Savers Spear-O-Mint, Pep-O-Mint and Wint-O-Green sugar mints also contain stearic acid, which is an animal-based ingredient that is derived from beef and pork”
— Tammy Sampson, Wrigley Consumer Care
“Some of our products contain gelatin, which will be listed in the ingredients panel. The source of the gelatin, however, is not listed,” read the response.
Another response received on 18 August from Tammy Sampson of Wrigley Consumer Care said: “Our Life Savers Spear-O-Mint, Pep-O-Mint and Wint-O-Green sugar mints also contain stearic acid, which is an animal-based ingredient that is derived from beef and pork.”
It was a very serious issue for the devotees and would severely hurt their feelings when they would come to know that they were unknowingly eating beef-laced popular candies, gums and confections, Zed noted.
“What happened to Wrigley’s “principle” of “responsibility”, which it claims to put “into action”? Zed questioned and added that it was hard to comprehend that why Wrigley did not mention beef explicitly under the ingredients on the box/package when it was part of the product inside. “Is this the way Wrigley wanted to advance its “Vision” of “Creating simple pleasures to brighten everyone’s day”? Zed asked.
Now was the time for Wrigley to demonstrate its claim “to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance” by admitting their error of not being transparent enough to mention in clear and simple terms what was inside the box/package so that an ordinary consumer could make right and appropriate choices, Zed indicated. ” Wrigley should explicitly list beef in the ingredients on the box/pack when beef was present in the product,” Zed added.