Demand more transparent labeling of animal-derived ingredients

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BACKGROUND 

Nearly 3 out of 4 medications contain animal-derived ingredients. However, due to poor labeling standards, many consumers are not aware of this.

  1. We demand more transparency surrounding labeling for animal-derived ingredients in pharmaceutical products. Example - a consumer is not expected to know icosapent ethyl is the same as fish oil.
  2. We demand using synthetic or plant-based ingredients whenever possible. Example - the inactive ingredient magnesium stearate can be sourced from a plant or an animal.

WHO CARES?

There are an estimated 1.8 billion Muslims, 1.2 billion Hindus, 535 million Buddhists, 18.7 million Seventh-day Adventists, 7.7 million Jains, along with 375 million vegetarians, 78 million vegans, and billions of pet owners worldwide who deeply care about the well-being of animals. Other than for religious, animal welfare, or dietary reasons, going “animal-free” with the use of pharmaceutical ingredients is also better for our environment. According to PETA, vegans generate 42% lower volume of greenhouse gases than meat consumers do. Animal agriculture significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. 

Today, there is an increasing number of people turning to a plant-based lifestyle and they depend on clear, transparent labeling to help them achieve this. 

SOLUTIONS EXIST!

You have the power to drive change because solutions already exist. For example, manufacturers of drugs and supplements have the option to replace (1) animal-sourced magnesium stearate with plant-based magnesium stearate (2) gelatin capsules with plant-based hydroxypropyl methylcellulose capsules (3) lactose fillers with other non-animal sourced bulking agents.

Some manufacturers take the effort to use plant-based or synthetic materials but the consumer is not aware due to the lack of clear labeling. Some manufacturers may mislabel their products or do not carry out the due diligence to make this information available to their consumers. These are simple fixes. 

CURRENT REGULATORY STATUS

For the typical consumer, deciphering the long list of ingredients in medications can be overly complicated. The US FDA does not require manufacturers to label their ingredients as animal-derived. However, the American Medical Association urges manufacturers to include all ingredients and components present in medical products on the product label, including both active and inactive ingredients, and denote any derived from an animal source. The European Union Food Information Regulation (FIC) has called on the European Commission to be clearer in their labeling for products with animal-derived ingredients for food but this does not apply to pharmaceuticals. 

OUR CALL TO ACTION

  1. Clearly label if ingredients used for drugs and supplements are “Animal-Free
  2. Replace animal-derived ingredients with plant-based/synthetic ingredients when alternatives exist

When you sign this petition, VeganMed will 

  1. Send a letter to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) demanding policies around clearer labeling. 
  2. Send a letter to pharmaceutical companies and manufacturers to clearly label “animal-free” products and use non-animal derived ingredients when possible.

Thank you for contributing to this movement and taking steps towards a positive change.