View Full Version : Organic and Vegan?

Mar 5th, 2008, 02:50 PM
Dear all,

This is something that has been bothering me for a while now so I thought I'd share it:

I consider myself an ethical consumer and I always try to buy organic products (as well as vegan)… This has, however, reached a difficult point now. It would seem that EU/Organic Soil Association legislation does not allow for reinforced products to be labelled organic… As you can imagine, as a vegan I am concerned about my B12 intake and as such, I would like to be able to buy reinforced Alpro or Oatly (the latter not strictly vegan due to the use of vitamin D3, but this is a different story…) that are Organic…

I do not have an issue with the packet being labelled organic or not (this is a mere issue with bureaucracy and legislation)… the problem comes in when, after a few emails, I have found out that both Oatly and Alpro, will use organic soya beans and oats for their non reinforced versions, but when it comes to the “same product” but reinforced, they have decided to use non organic versions of their ingredients…

For me, choosing non organic, is often a non vegan option due to the use of pesticides and unnecessary damage that it is caused on the environment with some agricultural practices… I feel as if I cannot choose to buy non organic products due to being a vegan but if I choose their organic versions, I cannot obtain B12… (and yes, I do know that there are other ways of supplementing my diet but that is hardly the point)…

What is your position on this matter? Is there any way we could put some pressure on these companies so they use organic ingredients in their reinforced products as well? Do you think we should do something about this?

Mar 5th, 2008, 03:27 PM
With all due respect, isn't this the same topic we just discussed here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=424633#post424633)? ;) You don't need reinforced products, you know, and if you actually need B12, you need B12 even if there only would be non-organic B12 supplements around...

Mar 5th, 2008, 05:57 PM
It is the same topic, I would just like to know other people's opinion's on this, maybe people that are not just interested on B12 but on other reinforcements (hence why I have posted it on a different place of the forum)

Mar 5th, 2008, 06:03 PM
I generally tend to buy the organic soy milk. I take the Vegan Society's V1 supplement from time to time and also eat other fortified foods such as yeast extract so I'm not as worried about that aspect.

I agree that it would be better if you could get products that are both fortified and organic but it might be a question of writing to your MEP rather than lobbying the manufacturers? Unfortunately I can see that from a commercial point of view there might be a problem with using more expensive organic ingredients if you couldn't label the product as organic (and hence charge extra for it :rolleyes:)

Mar 6th, 2008, 04:26 PM
The soil Association don't and won't sanction the use of vitamin and mineral fortification in organic foods, unless it's required by law:

Is organic food fortified with vitamins and minerals?
Fortification refers to the policy of adding essential trace elements and vitamins to foodstuffs. Under Soil Association standards, organic foods must not be fortified with added artificial nutrients, unless required by law.

Why do you take this stance on fortification?
The Soil Association believes good health is founded on having a diet predominantly composed of minimally processed wholefoods. We cannot support food policies that accept the routine removal and degradation of nutrients by refining and other processing as normal, and then encourage the replacement of a few of the missing elements by fortification with synthetic versions.


The idea being that you should get all the nutrients you need from your diet. If something can't be obtained through diet, for whatever reason, one should take a supplement.

Mar 14th, 2008, 05:32 PM
THank you both for the input!