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Letters (at bottom of page) to my 3 favorite Vegetarian vitamin manufacturers, regarding STEARIC ACID & STEARATE (is it non-vegan? read below)

NATURES LIFE e-mailed 10/2/2000
Response: Imediate good news
Result: VEGAN

NATURES PLUS e-mailed 10/2/2000
Response: got thru by phone only
Result: VEGAN

COUNTRY LIFE mailed by US Mail 10/2/2000
Response: e-mail response
Result: VEGAN

IMPORTANT NOTE:
From these 3 manufacturers, only the vitamins labeled as "Vegetarian" are "Vegan" (they also sell non-vegetarian vitamins too, so read the labels for the "Vegetarian" notice)

WARNING:
I have found vitamins labeled "Vegetarian" which were in GELATIN CAPS (non-vegetarian, as far as I am concerned, and most definately Non-Vegan), it may have been Country Life Brand, however, I do get some items from Country Life

I get most of my items from Natures Life, but also get some specialty items from Natures Plus. Natures Life is just a bit cheaper in cost than is Natures Plus. I have heard good things about Natures Plus, so although I tend towards Natures Life, Natures Plus also make a great product and should be considered. Country Life also has intelligently planned Specialty Items. (I have had to get some items with Gelatin Caps and removed the powder from the caps, and mixed it into Soy Juice or Soy Milk; I have done this with medication, although I usually tell my doctor that I am a vegetarian vegan, some doctors object to this, but smart ones realize the health value of such a diet)
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E-LETTER TO NATURES LIFE VITAMINS:

NATURES LIFE:
Your vitamins labelled "Suitable for Vegetarians", contain "Stearic Acid", which, as per Idiots Guide to being Vegetarian by Havala, and also as per The Vegan Sourcebook by Stepaniak, say that Stearic Acid is Tallow or Animal Fat. Is your Stearic Acid derived from Animal Fat? If so, why do you say it is suitable for vegetarians, and why the claims of no animal byproducts?   I NEED A SERIOUS, COHERENT RESPONSE. Your response (or lack of), will be posted on my web pages and sent to many other Vegetarians and Vegetarian web sites.

RESPONSE:
Received Imediately

Date:   10/2/00 9:14:41 AM Pacific Daylight Time
Thank you for your e-mail. The stearic acid is an excipient for many of our products. It is a fatty acid derived from vegetable oil and used as a lubricant. Vegetable oils that may be used for stearic acid include corn, palm or coconut.
Magnesium stearate is another excipient used as a lubricant or flow agent (during encapsulation or tableting). It is a combination of stearic acid (see above) and magnesium.
Neither of these items should be considered a significant source of either fatty acids or magnesium. They are present in trace amounts, and are completely vegan.
I hope this information helps. Regards,
Kelly Colwell
Marketing Manager

NICE OF HER TO QUALIFY THE VEGETARIAN ITEMS AS VEGAN, AND SHE GAVE ME A QUICK RESPONS

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NATURE'S PLUS
Your vitamins labelled "Vegetarian", contain "Stearic Acid", which, as per Idiots Guide to being Vegetarian by Havala, and also as per The Vegan Sourcebook by Stepaniak, say that Stearic Acid is Tallow or Animal Fat. Is your Stearic Acid derived from Animal Fat? If so, why do you say it is suitable for vegetarians, and why the claims of no animal byproducts?   (I would also like a response regarding the ingreediant "Magnesium Stearate" which as per The Vegan Sourcebook, may contain animal byproducts). I NEED A SERIOUS, COHERENT RESPONSE. Your response (or lack of), will be posted on my web pages and sent to many other Vegetarians and Vegetarian web sites. e-mailed 10/2/2000

RESPONSE:
Natures Plus writes, that they do not answer by e-mail, they do not answer in writing, I must phone their 800 number (thats very LOW, why do they have e-mail? why cant I get the info in writing? idiots). I gave the e-mail another try, but again, they refused to answer by e-mail. Today 10/19/2000 I tried to call, but the Customer Service Person resisted with 1) "We must have the specific ITEM", so I got all 4 items (took 30 sec) and 2) "The question is too complex, I have to connect you to our Voice Mail" (whom I left 2 proper messages with, waiting for a response). In a 5th attempt 10/19/2000 I faxed them with a clear, detailed, but not long, letter.

I RECEIVED A PHONE MESSAGE RESPONSE 10/20/2000 from Natures Plus Rep Rob Valenti, who assured me that all Natures Plus items which are labled as "Vegetarian" are also qualified as "Vegan Vegetarian". He also went into the details of how they get the Magnesium Stearate (Oops, I said that he "did not cover the Subject of Stearic Acid" but upon listening back to the tape message, he did, Pardon me, I have corrected myself). It is very reassuring that if it was marked Vegetarian, that it was indeed Vegan, he has me convinced, as he seems obviously knowledgeble on the subject (while some people dont know exactly what they are talking about). NICE OF HIM TO QUALIFY THE VEGETARIAN ITEMS AS VEGAN (it is usually Vegans who are most concerned about these things)
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LETTER TO "COUNTRY LIFE" VITAMINS:

COUNTRY LIFE
101 CORPORATE DRIVE
HAUPPAUGE NY 11788
10/2/2000

At your website http://www.i9.com/clifetest/index.html
The CONTACT INFO pages do not come up, thus I am sending this by mail

COUNTRY LIFE:
Your vitamins labelled "Vegetarian", contain "Stearic Acid", which, as per Idiots Guide to being Vegetarian by Havala, and also as per The Vegan Sourcebook by Stepaniak, say that Stearic Acid is Tallow or Animal Fat. Is your Stearic Acid derived from Animal Fat? If so, why do you say it is suitable for vegetarians, and why the claims of no animal byproducts?   (I would also like a response regarding the ingreediant "Magnesium Stearate" which as per The Vegan Sourcebook, may contain animal byproducts).

I NEED A SERIOUS, COHERENT RESPONSE.

Your response (or lack of), will be posted on my web pages and sent to many other Vegetarians and Vegetarian web sites.


Will Christopher Holley www.ARCHURE.net
PO Box 93701 Las Vegas NV 89193-3701

(my original letter was mailed 10/2/2000)

RESPONSE:

Date:    Mon, Oct 9, 2000, 12:33pm (PDT+3)
From:    Lisa Bonsignore
Subject:    Stearic acid

Dear Mr. Holley,
Thank you for taking the time to contact Country Life with your concerns regarding Stearic Acid. Please be assured that all of our stearic acid is vegetable based, prepared by the hydrogenation of some vegetable oils.
If you need any additional information, please feel free to contact us. Sincerely,
Lisa Bonsignore
Quality Assurance

BUT SHE DOES NOT MENTION "MAGNESIUM STEARATE" which I asked about, I will have to write again



Subject: Re: half done

Dear Mr. Holley,
I apologize for not responding in full to your earlier inquiry. Please be assured that magnesium stearate, like stearic acid, is completely free of animal by-products. This material is comprised of stearic acid and a magnesium salt.

Again, thank you for your interest in Country Life products. Sincerely,
Lisa Bonsignore
Quality Assurance

THANK YOU LISA BONSIGNOR
I wrote her a very nice thank you letter, telling her of the importance it means to strict vegetarian vegans

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