For anyone who's ever wondered just what went into that seemingly innocent snack with "natural flavorings," or whether the mono- and diglycerides in their PB & J sandwich bread were animal- or vegetable-based, an endeaver led by New York-based animal-rights dynamo Hillary Morris may soon offer a host of answers. The Vegan Standards and Certification Project, Inc. (VSCP), which Morris recently set up, proposes to bestow a seal of approval, similar in function to the Kosher symbol, on those products that meet a strict list of requirements. To earn the seal, a manufacturer will have to sign a contract stating that its product is totally vegan. Certified products will be tested by an independent, third-party laboratory on a random, unannounced basis.
In addition to meat and dairy, the project will look out for such things as casein, whey, animal stearate, cochineal, honey, refined sugar processed with bone char and alcoholic beverages filtered using isinglass (a fish by-product). For nonfood items, the list will include keratin, beeswax, lanolin, wool, silk, animal-derived glue, leather, down, feathers, fur and suede.
For more information on this ambitious undertaking, go to: http://www.veganstandards.org.