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WestSoy Vegetarian Stir-Fry Strips do not contain honey, despite label.

An Illinois reader contacted Hain Celestial about their product, WestSoy Vegetarian Stir-Fry Strips, when he noticed the word 'vegan' on a package but 'honey' listed as an ingredient. The reader told us that, on some packages in the store, the word 'honey' had been scratched out. He called the company for an explanation.

The reader reported that, at first, Hain told him that the product did contain honey. Later, the reader told us that a supervisor at Hain called him back and told him that there never was honey in the Strips. She said that there was an error on the ingredient statements of packages printed before February 2009. Those packages did indicate that honey was present. The reader told us that Hain said it wasn't issuing a statement correcting the mistake because, since honey is not a federally-regulated allergen, it is not required.

The VRG called Hain to follow up. In April 2009, Sara, a customer service representative at Hain, told us that there never was honey in the WestSoy Vegetarian Stir-Fry Strips but that packages printed before February 2009 did list honey as an ingredient. Sara said that was an error on their part. Those packages do say 'vegan.'

The newer packages also have 'vegan' printed on them, but 'honey' does not appear in the ingredient statement. Sara told The VRG that, since the Strips have an 80-day shelf life, complete turnover to all newer packaging may not have occurred in all stores as of April 2009 but soon it will. They have no way of knowing for sure.

Hain regrets any confusion or inconvenience the error may have caused to consumers.

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Author:Yacoubou, Jeane
Publication:Vegetarian Journal
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Oct 1, 2009
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