The Mars Debacle – Online Newspaper Coverage

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Coverage from the media about the Mars mess up »

via the Guardian:

A Mars Bar a day? No longer an option if you are vegetarian
· Campaigners condemn Masterfoods move
· Company claims credit for being honest

Hugh Muir / Monday May 14, 2007 /The Guardian

Perhaps there was a sense that the major battles facing Britain’s vegetarians had been won. Veterans recall the fight for better labelling along with the quest for menu choices that didn’t begin and end with ambiguous lentil bake.

Yesterday, 200 years after the Reverend William Cowherd first publicly advanced the principle of abstinence from flesh-eating, senior figures in the vegetarian movement found themselves rallying the troops for one more skirmish.

On May 1, Masterfoods began using animal products in famous chocolate bars such as the Mars Bar, Bounty, Snickers, Twix and Milky Way. The taint also affects Maltesers and Minstrels, which have traces of whey – a product of cheesemaking which itself involves the use of rennet, a chemical from calves’ stomachs. The recipe change also applies to the popular ice cream versions of the confectionery bars.

It means that for the diligent vegetarian, the products are all out of bounds.

The move has been strongly condemned by the Vegetarian Society which has urged its members to pressure Masterfoods to think again.

To help the company reach this period of reflection, the society has posted the number for Masterfoods’ customer services department on its website. Members pining for their favourite chocolate bars are being advised to ring the multinational and “express your concern”.

A spokesman for the Vegetarian Society said: “For some incomprehensible reason they are using animal products when all these items have previously been produced using vegetarian alternatives. There are about 3 million vegetarians in the UK which is a significant part of the UK market. It is very disappointing that Masterfoods products are no longer vegetarian friendly. We hope the company will reconsider this move.”

There is no sign of an early retreat but Paul Goalby, corporate affairs manager for Masterfoods, said the company at least deserved credit for being honest.

» Link

But as the Veggie Society’s Liz O’ Neil wrote on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free section, this information was only discovered when a Veg Soc member emailed them.
Yes they were honest, but they didn’t release this news until the information was passed around and posted online here on April 30th. Honest when asked about it. But didn’t freely publish this info until pushed.

Other coverage:

The Telegraph: Vegetarians face an ethical dilemma after makers add animal derivatives to chocolate

The Times: Mars a day not OK for veggies

Evening Standard: Veggies vow to boycott Mars bars

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