Hindu leader seeks Kellogg's CEO's resignation for beef-containing cereals

By Douglas Yu

- Last updated on GMT

Kellogg has confirmed some of its cereals contain gelatin derived from beef.  Pic: ©iStock/bagwold
Kellogg has confirmed some of its cereals contain gelatin derived from beef. Pic: ©iStock/bagwold

Related tags Gelatin Kellogg

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed said it was “shocking” for Hindus in the US to learn that some of Kellogg’s cereals they had been eating for years contained beef. 

“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 the president of Universal Society of Hinduism.

Photo: Universal Society of Hinduism
"Consumption of beef is highly conflicting to Hindu beliefs." - Ranjan Zed

“Upset Hindus are seeking the resignation and apology of multinational food company Kellogg’s CEO John A. Bryant for non-disclosure of beef in some of its cereals and other products, and [the] immediate recall of all such items from the market,”​ he added.

Beef-derived gelatin

Zed told BakeryandSnacks that he was only recently informed by a fellow Hindu that the gelatin used by Kellogg’s is derived from beef. He then reached out to Kellogg for the list of its ingredients.

In its emailed reply, Kellogg wrote, “Gelatin is used to help the texture and, for product made for the US market, is derived from either beef or pork. Should any of our products in the US contain gelatin, it would be listed on the ingredient panel found on all of our packages.”

Zed, however, said there was no mention of beef listed in the ingredients on the products’ boxes or packages.

Some of Kellogg's cereals that contain gelatin derived from beef include Frosted Pop-Tarts, Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal and Rice Krispies Treats.

Kellogg’s fruit-flavored snacks and Krave Treat Bars contain gelatin derived from either beef or pork, depending on its availability, according to the company.

Kris Charles, Kellogg’s spokesperson, said: “We understand consumers want to know about the ingredients in their foods for a variety of different reasons, and we respect those reasons. That is why we ensure gelatin is always clearly labeled on the package and that our labeling follows FDA requirements.

“We also provide information about our ingredients, and details about gelatin, through our consumer affairs hotline and online at openforbreakfast.com,”​ he added.

BakeryandSnacks later confirmed Kellogg’s website​ does provide information about gelatin being sourced from beef.

FDA regulations

A spokesperson from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said regulations require that gelatin must be declared on the product label when used as a food ingredient.

“However, FDA regulations do not require manufacturers to declare the source of the gelatin,”​ the spokespersons said. “And as always, food labels must be truthful and not misleading.”

Zed argued that, despite the FDA regulations, Kellogg's has its own set of values, which include "show respect for and value all individuals for their diverse backgrounds, experiences, styles, approaches and ideas. 

"How much extra effort does it take to print under ingredients 'gelatin (derived from beef)' as compared to just 'gelatin'?"​ he asked. 

Zed said there are currently around three million Hindus in the US, and he is still waiting for Kellogg to apologize for “not being transparent enough.”

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1 comment


Posted by Joe Regenstein,

Please note that neither beef or pork gelatin would be permitted for those products that have normative mainstream kosher certification which Kellogg's has for many of its products. I hope that in the future Hindu consumers will learn to use the kosher markings to help them make appropriate product decisions.

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