Target: Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
Goal: Require labels to distinguish food products that contain animals or animal derivatives
Millions of Americans adhere to vegan or vegetarian diets, but shopping can be difficult when their grocery carts cannot contain animals or animal by-products. In order to make shopping easier and to increase commercial food sales, it would be beneficial for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require food labels for products that are 100 percent vegan or vegetarian. Urge the FDA to require these labels for all food products sold in the United States.
Though it can be argued that vegans and vegetarians should not complain about their self-imposed dietary restrictions, these individuals have difficulty adhering to their diets without the help of food manufacturers. Vegans are required to read through every ingredient of an unfamiliar product to be certain it does not contain animal derivatives, and extremely long labels can make the challenge time-consuming. These consumers can also be fooled by foreign words like diacetyl, tagatose, surimi, or ovalbumin that indicate the presence of milk or eggs. Lard may also be easily hidden in an ingredient list, rendering the product inedible for both vegans and vegetarians.
Because food production companies know exactly which products contain such ingredients and which do not, it would not be difficult to add a small label to items that are 100 percent vegan or vegetarian. Not only would this make shopping efficient for its herbivore consumers, but it would also increase product sales. All too often, consumers choose not to purchase products if they are uncertain of the ingredients.
Some chains, like Trader Joe’s, already label many of their vegan/vegetarian options with a small but noticeable symbol on the food packaging. This addition would be a small task for food companies to undertake, but it would certainly result in great appreciation from the growing number of American vegans and vegetarians.
Urge the FDA to require food labels for products that are completely vegan or vegetarian.
Dear Margaret A. Hamburg, Commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
Due to the growing number of vegans and vegetarians in the United States, I request that you require food companies to label products that are 100 percent vegan or vegetarian. These products demand a food label because it is often difficult for consumers to distinguish between foods that contain animals or animal by-products and those that do not. The easy task of labeling such products would increase commercial sales because customers are more likely to purchase food if they are certain of its content.
Instead of leaving it up to consumers to read lengthy and confusing labels, food companies could help millions of Americans by telling them what food is free from animals or animal derivatives. Urge the requirement of food labels for vegan and vegetarian products.
[Your Name Here]