- By Ryan Jacobs
News that the new £5 notes contain beef tallow prompts Bank Of England supplier to work on potential solutions
The British government faces widespread back lash as businesses and consumers refuse to accept the new £5 notes as tender. The revelation that the notes contain beef has angered animal rights, vegan, vegetation and religious groups. Many faiths such as Hinduism, Buddhism , Jainism forbid the use of animal products in this way, whilst Judaism and Islam which do allow animal products to be used, require that the animal is killed in a preordained more humane manner. Jewish charities have yet to officially ban the notes from being accepted in synagogues, yet large portions of the British-Jewish community have signed petitions condemning the new currency which they say they have no choice but to use in direct contradiction to their faith.
What is tallow?
Tallow is a substance made from animal fat that is commonly used the making of soap, candles and now the new polymer £5 notes. The new polymer five pound notes uses beef tallow which is made from suet, hard fat found around the kidneys, stomach and other organs.
The Bank of England confirmed “There is a trace of tallow in the polymer pellets used in the base substrate of the polymer £5 notes.”
It is thought that the animal product is used as a source of stearic acid, which acts as a lubricant and neutralises trace additives in the notes.
Although tallow is a by product of the mainstream meat industry, its inclusion in the new note has lead to outrage primarily from vegetarians and vegans, Hindus, Sikhs and Jains.
An official parliamentary petition to remove tallow from bank notes had reached over 100,000 signatures as of the end of November 2016.
What is the government doing about this?
The Bank of England has now released an official statement saying that they are treating concerns “with the utmost seriousness”, but have claimed that they were unaware that there was non-kosher/halal beef tallow in the new notes until now.
The statement said: “This issue has only just come to light, and the Bank did not know about it when the contract was signed. Innovia [The Supplier] is now working intensively with its supply chain and will keep the Bank informed on progress towards potential solutions.”
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