The Mars Confectionary Debate Continues…

The excreta seems to have hit the electrical cooling device on this subject and reading the comments (which are being posted every few minutes now) Mars have (of course) made a really, really bad decision by using rennet in their products.

» Andy over at The Spicy Couldron has more coverage, plus links to the Masterfoods website where you can use their contact form to register your complaint, plus a phone number for you to call.

» Liz O’Neil, friend to ScouseVeg and Press Officer at The Vegetarian Society has a column on The Guardian’s Comment Is Free site. She details of how this information got out. Not because of Masterfoods themselves, but because a member of the Veggie Society contacted them one day with a routine inquiry. She writes….

Mars barred

Only a chance inquiry revealed that Mars bars will no longer be suitable for vegetarians – a cautionary tale about how the food industry acts.

Provenance is one of the big buzz words in serious discussions about food and drink. So much so, in fact, that I can no longer assume that a fellow shopper pausing in the supermarket aisles to read ingredient labels is also a fellow vegetarian. Ethical, religious, health and all sorts of other concerns are leading millions of consumers to ask more detailed questions than ever before, about their food.

But sadly, the ingredients list doesn’t always tell the full story. Ingredient labels do not include processing aids, so a Mars bar on sale today looks exactly the same as one made without the use of rennet scraped from the lining of a new-born calf’s stomach. There are 51 different E-numbers that are sometimes made using the flesh of dead animals and sometimes not. More than 4,000 products carry the Vegetarian Society Approved logo, guaranteeing their suitability but that leaves millions that don’t – and the only way a concerned consumer can find out is to ask the manufacturer direct.

And that’s what happened with Mars bars. A Vegetarian Society member contacting Masterfoods with a routine inquiry was the first to discover that something was wrong. The recipe hasn’t changed, but the multinational food giant’s sourcing policies have. Despite plentiful supplies of vegetarian whey, a by-product of the cheese-making process, Masterfoods can no longer differentiate between suppliers using animal rennet and those that don’t. The company’s astonishing claim that it made a “principled decision to admit it was not guaranteed to be vegetarian” has to ring a few alarm bells. Are they saying that they considered lying? Does it mean there are other uncomfortable truths they prefer not to come clean about?

» Link to full article

» The Vegetarian Society
(details of how to contact Masterfoods)

Previous coverage on ScouseVeg:
Apron 30th: Mars Confectionary No Long Vegetarian
May 14th: Mars Products No Longer Veggie – An Update

One thought on “The Mars Confectionary Debate Continues…

  • 21st January 2008 at 3:11 pm

    very disappointed bout the non-vegetarian changes made to the chocolate bars. Alot of custom will be lost. Can they be changed?


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