Your daily supplements may not be as vegan as you think. The Transparent Label campaign has just published a report showing that 50% of food supplements contain ingredients of animal origin. Jointly published by supplement brand Terraseed and animal welfare organization Animal Save Movement, the new research underscores how products from major supplement companies can lack transparency about ingredients.
The report claims that more than 24 billion animal deaths can be attributed to supplement production each year. While researching the $55 billion supplement industry, the report’s authors found that supplement companies generally don’t label animal-derived ingredients on their products.
“Many consumers are unaware that common ingredients such as gelatin or magnesium stearate are made with the fat, bones and tendons of pigs, cows and chickens,” said Maria Cebrian, founder of Terraseed. and the Transparent Label campaign. VegNews. “More than half of the supplements on the US market contain at least one animal-derived ingredient. For example, many capsules and soft gels are made with gelatin.
The report’s authors teamed up with industry experts, the U.S. National Institute of Health [NIH] Office of Dietary Supplements and several animal rights groups. After studying more than 79,000 supplements from the NIH Dietary Supplement Label Database, the authors found five common supplement ingredients of animal origin, including magnesium stearate, gelatin, vitamin D from wool mutton, fish omega-3s and bee pollen.
The cost of animal ingredients
Ingredients such as vitamin D and omega-3s may have plant sources, but the report says the majority of companies rely on conventional animal-based ingredients. The campaign notes that the two most common animal ingredients – magnesium stearate and gelatin – require 18 million cows, sheep and pigs.
The supplement industry has a significant impact on fish more than any other animal. The study estimates that the production of animal-derived supplements kills 24 billion people a year, primarily to produce fish oil for omega-3s. The report notes that fishing-related pollution plays a huge role in the industry’s negative environmental impacts, saying supplement companies produce 1.8 billion plastic bottles every year.
“Fish are killed in large numbers to produce supplements,” Cebrian said. “It actually takes up to 100 fish to create a single bottle of fish oil supplements. If that weren’t enough, 54 million plastic supplement bottles are also ending up in the ocean, damaging marine ecosystems and killing millions of marine animals.
Encourage the FDA to improve labeling standards
Despite the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act of 1994 limiting the ability of supplement manufacturers and distributors to misbrand or mislead customers, the supplement industry is under scrutiny. minimum from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The report’s authors say the FDA rarely inspects supplement facilities and does not require any sourcing standards on vitamin labels. In short, the supplement industry can easily circumvent full disclosure, potentially misleading consumers without the proper information.
The Transparent Label campaign is supported by BeVeg, SEED (Strategies for Ethical and Environmental Development), Social Compassion in Legislation and Naturally Boulder. The campaign released a petition calling on the FDA to double down on labeling requirements for dietary supplements to improve transparency across the industry.
“To end animal suffering in the supplement industry, all key players must take responsibility: the supplement companies, the FDA, and also consumers,” Cebrian said. “We all need to join forces to bring more transparency to an old-fashioned, opaque industry and start talking about our responsibility to this planet and its animals.”
This campaign joins a growing movement to encourage the FDA to improve labeling standards. Last month, Ethical Inc founder Obi Obadike said Nutrition overview that the supplement industry desperately needs more oversight. The founder claimed that without transparency and more regulation, consumers “have no idea what they are taking and the potential harm that could be done to them”.
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