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VEGA's Current Interests

VEGA members and its precursors have campaigned on many issues over the past few decades.

Below is an outline of our interests, involvement, research and campaigning at present. These include:

Our database Environmental issues Research Projects Other Involvements

Our database 

Animal welfare, health, environmental, agriculture and science archive
Vega has an extensive newspaper clippings and journal archive and user friendly database available to anyone interested in researching animal welfare, nutrition, health, environment, agriculture and scientific subjects. We can send articles via email upon request.

Vega adhere to the strict copyright policies regarding copying of material which is not for personal research etc. Please telephone or email to make an appointment to view articles or have information sent via mail or email.

Campaigning on Environmental Issues 

VEGA regularly comments on consultations from DEFRA, which concern
environmental issues such as pollution, wildlife conservation,
agricultural issues and sustainable development.

For example, VEGA commented on species conservation proposed by DEFRA, exploring the risks of threats from commercial activities from the food industry and trade in rare species, see our response to the consultation on the Wildlife and Countryside Act (available as a downloadable Word document)

Research Projects 

  1. We have funded research projects on the effects of calf separation from its dam (see our press release - New Scientific Report Dams Routine Practices in the Dairy/Beef/Veal Industry) and the marketing and pre-slaughter treatment of cattle (awaiting publication).

  2. VEGA has recruited volunteers and funded research on the iodine and selenium status of vegetarians. These are trace elements that could be lacking in the average vegan diet. Iodine is present in sea vegetables and VEGA is currently pushing for iodine to be included on the nutritional information provided on packaging.

  3. The Future of Farming and Food - The Curry Commission
    VEGA's submission to the government's Commission on the Future of Farming and Food (now known as the Curry Commission) outlines our views on policy reforms needed to improve human health, animal welfare, and the environment.

Other Involvements 

Food Standards Agency
VEGA has submitted comments to the FSA on novel and functional foods, developments in processing and labelling, and on the composition of dietary supplements.

BSE Inquiry
VEGA has been involved in the BSE Inquiry where we are emphasising farming and welfare issues as they relate to the UK and other countries.

Genetic engineering and the irradiation of food
VEGA has been monitoring these issues for the last decade and advising government bodies, NGO's and manufacturers of the need for objective education and review of the issues.

Manufacturers & vendors
VEGA pursues food producers and manufacturers of household goods and pharmaceuticals to cater for strictly vegetarian (vegan), "green", and animal welfarist customers.

Initiatives and labelling need to prove that objectionable ingredients (such as egg white, casein, gelatin, lactose etc.), additives (such as caramels, cochineal, shellac etc.), and processing aids (such as finings and clarifying agents) have been excluded or replaced.

VEGA is currently organizing a network of consumers campaigning for more choice in vegan foods. See our Veganizing Ingredients page for more details.

Antibiotics
VEGA and its precursors have campaigned since before the Swann Report of 1969 on the overuse of "farmerceuticals" as substitutes for good animal husbandry. The recourse to intensive methods of factory farming for production of speciously "cheap" food has dominated the industry.

Bovine Somatotropin (BST) and other hormones
These and other production boosters or animal health products, euphemised as digestive or performance enhancers or as metaphylaxis, have been condemned vigorously by VEGA ("BST equals Bloody Stupid Technology"). Some result from genetic engineering. Flesh, organs, blood, and milk may be overloaded with steroid and hormones and other physiologically active factors such as insulin and growth hormones.

VEGA is investigating the longterm physiological consequences to human consumers & to animals.

Agricultural Policy, Subsidies etc.
VEGA and its precursors have been tackling challenges and solutions described in the Green Plan, launched in 1976, for farming, food and health, and the land. VEGA perseveres in representing vegetarianism as a powerful market factor. Under the let-live-and-live and grow food, not feed Green Plan policies subsidies would be directed away from the live/deadstock industry into support for environmental care and improvement and human and animal welfare.

Grace-and-favour organisations such as the Meat and Livestock Commission must be disbanded and food producers must, like any other industry, solve their own problems without subventions from the taxpayer.

Vegetarian Shopping Basket
VEGA continues with DEFRA, the Dept. of Health and the Food Standards Agency to monitor the nutrition and safety (in assessments of residues of pesticides, pollutants, mycotoxins etc.) of purchases likely to interest the veggie customer and consumer. This surveillance extends to manufacturers and vendors, and to the Departments of Trade and Industry and of Education.


Registered Charity No. 1045293
© VEGA - 2008

 

RELATED LINKS
 

Veganizing Ingredients
Research projects
The Chillingham herd