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Beef fat in new British £5 note likely in Canadian polymer bills also

November 29, 2016

new-uk-fiver-with-cow

Vegans and others in the United Kingdom are outraged that the new fiver issued by the Bank of England inexplicably contains trace elements of beef tallow.

Given the fact, Canadian vegans may want to avoid licking their fingers when they count their money because it means that Canada’s polymer bills almost certainly contain tallow as well.

British vegans have a cow over beef fat in new £5 note!

On Monday the Bank of England admitted in a reply on Twitter that the United Kingdom’s new £5 polymer banknote note contains traces of beef tallow, an animal fat commonly used in candles and fat.

The British central bank says that the fat in its new fiver comes from the polymer pellets that it buys—from the same European company which also supplies the polymer to make Canadian banknotes.

British vegetarians, vegans and others who are personally committed to not using animal products reacted to the news of the presence of beef fat in their new five pound note with shock, anger and an online petition.

“This is unacceptable to millions of vegans, vegetarians, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and others in the U.K. We demand that you cease to use animal products in the production of currency that we have to use,” demands the Change.org petition: “Remove Tallow from bank notes”, which is aimed at the Bank of England and has already garnered 22,532 supporters.

The new U.K. £5 banknote, which features Sir Winston Churchill, was issued on September 13 and is the first-ever polymer banknote issued by the Bank of England.

According to the website CrossroadsToday, the Bank of England, through a spokesperson, said that it only became aware recently that there was beef tallow in the banknote polymer, which it said was provided by a European company called Innovia Films.

CrossroadsToday also quoted a spokesperson for Innovia Films as confirming that there are “minute” traces of tallow in the company’s polymer, used to make the plastic substrate more “anti-static”.

Tallow-doped polymer used by 23 countries plus Canada

The British £5 banknote uses Innovia Films’ Guardian polymer banknote substrate, which the company says is “currently issued on 80 denominations in 24 countries worldwide“, including the U.K., Australia (since 1988), Mexico (since 2002), New Zealand, Nicaragua, Singapore and Canada (since 2010).

There seems little doubt therefore that Canada’s banknotes also contain trace amounts of beef tallow, seeing as the tallow is contained in Innovia’s Guardian polymer film which Canadian banknotes are printed on.

So far however, I cannot say this for absolute certain as I have received no reply to my email asking the Bank of Canada about the presence of beef tallow in Canada’s polymer bills. Click the image to enlarge it.

From → Canada

5 Comments
  1. Thanks for shining light on this topic and for standing for something that means something. I appreciate your steps towards a peaceful planet.

    Con mucho respeto. (With much respect.)

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