FDA cracks down on vegan mayonnaise labeling for your protection

FDA cracks down on vegan mayonnaise labeling for your protection
A major public hazard when mislabeled. (Image via BBC)

[Ed. – The scourge — the SCOURGE, I say! — of inexplicit labeling shall be driven from this earth.]

In this case, the federal government has decided a vegan company cannot put the name “Just Mayo” on its clearly labeled vegan mayonnaise product because the company doesn’t include egg whites in the mixture and does include some healthy stuff, like beta carotene. One would think most could discern from a vegan “Just Mayo” product that advertises itself as a vegan mayo product that it probably doesn’t have eggs—an animal product—in said vegan product. But why trust the American consumer when you can crack down on a small, upstart business selling a product people like to the people who like it? And, if we are to concede that it is indeed horribly misleading to call this product mayo, does it have to be a function of the federal government to correct this?

Reason reports:

In a warning letter sent to Hampton Creek earlier this month, the FDA noted several “significant violations” of federal regulations. …

Under federal law, only foods 1) containing at least 65 percent vegetable oil, 2) vinegar and/or lemon juice, and 3) some sort of egg-yolk product may be labeled mayonnaise. It can also contain preservatives, salt, sweeteners, spices, flavoring, and monosodium glutamate, but only “provided it does not impart to the mayonnaise a color simulating the color imparted by egg yolk.” Any other ingredients are forbidden.

Want to sell mayonnaise with an egg substitute, lime juice, or slightly less vegetable oil? Too bad—the FDA does not think the market can handle such ingredient chaos.

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