Greens Want Full Animal Disclosure From McDonalds
Greens Call For Full Animal Disclosure From McDonalds
News that McDonalds and other fast food chains like Burger King cook their French fries in beef lard make it imperative that labelling laws are changed to require manufacturers to disclose whether they use animal-based ingredients in their food, Green Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.
"Increasing numbers of New Zealanders are becoming vegetarian and they have a right to know whether the food they buy contains animal products," she said.
"At present they have no such right because manufacturers are not required to disclose ingredients of animal origin," Ms Kedgley said.
Ms Kedgley said animal fats and a range of animal-based ingredients such as rennet, gelatine, shellac and formic acid were used in processed food.
"All of these should be labelled as being of animal origin," she said.
Ms Kedgley said people would not expect vegetables such as French fries to contain animal ingredients, and said many vegetarians have probably eaten French fries assuming they were vegetarian.
Given the vast number of New Zealanders, and especially children, that eat French fries from fast food chains, Ms Kedgley said it was a real concern to learn that they are cooked in highly saturated beef lard.
"McDonald's stopped cooking chips in beef lard years ago in the USA, the UK and other countries because of consumer concerns about the high fat, high cholesterol content of beef lard and I am astonished they haven't done the same in New Zealand," she said.
Cooking French fries in beef tallow gives the fries more saturated beef fat per ounce than a McDonald's hamburger.
"It is time that they did. In the interests of reducing the saturated fat content of the New Zealand diet, I call on McDonald's, Burger King and other food producers to stop using beef lard to fry chips, and use a GE-free vegetable oil instead," said Ms Kedgley.