Flash Point: Perfect Day’s Imperfect Deception
Perfect Day (their name inspired by the Lou Reed song according to their FAQ) is a company that’s taken more of a ‘behind the scenes’ role in the food world – through fermentation of genetically modified bacteria they’ve created a whey (which is traditionally a protein from cow’s milk) that they sell to other companies to include as an ingredient. For example Brave Robot ice cream, and more recently partnering with Mars to sell a whey-infused chocolate candy bar.
🎶Oh it’s such a perfect day🎶
Why we need ‘dairy-free whey’ is beyond me. Perfect Day whey triggers allergies in people with milk allergies, so it’s not for them. If whey was actually a popular food ingredient, we’d already see it added and highlighted in non-vegan products. (The only real commercial value is duping weight lifters into consuming protein stolen from mother cows and their calves.) Vegans aren’t asking for it, you never see it in ‘if we could make anything vegan’ lists. It’s really a dead-end market, other than the novelty of ‘making whey differently’.
They’ve also taken the unusual route of marketing this to vegans. It’s especially conflicting given that vegan nutritionists have been talking about the harm to human health from cow’s milk and components for decades. Here’s T. Colin Campbell’s take on it referring to harm to kidneys, liver, our micro-biome and of course acne. Dr. Gregor also has numerous videos on the harms of dairy, this one also ties whey consumption to increased cancer risk. Further, Emily from Bite Size Vegan also highlights how almost no one (including vegans) are deficient in protein, but instead are highly deficient in fiber and that ought to be a focus on supplemental foods.
🎶You made me forget myself, I thought I was someone else, someone good🎶
To make matters worse, Perfect Day whey protein isn’t vegan, as it’s also tested on animals (our deep dive on Animal Testing and Food is here). They explain this on their website FAQ, although in the most confusing language possible:
Do you use animal testing to make your products?
Since the beginning, we’ve been motivated by a desire to bring a more compassionate approach to food manufacturing.
But what we are pioneering – making dairy protein (casein, whey) without animals – has never been done before. It’s an entirely new category of food ingredients, not because of what it is but because of how it is made.
While we do not support or condone the use of animal testing, in order to establish that a new ingredient is safe for human consumption, governmental regulatory agencies require extensive food safety tests. For new ingredients, like ours, these tests often require animal testing to ensure safety for human consumption. This step is, unfortunately, an important part of a) securing partnerships with food companies that will use our protein in their products and help us have widespread impact, and b) assuring consumers that products containing our new ingredients are safe to consume.
We fully support replacing animal testing with other validated methods to ensure the safety of new food ingredients and always ensure that these animal testing studies are conducted by accredited third-party facilities that follow proper animal welfare guidelines.
I find this insincere, confusing and duplicitous. This is how you say ‘we test on animals’ without actually saying it. I had also written them to clarify, and received an equally confounding response (to which they wouldn’t follow up to clarify):
Mon, Jun 13, 2022
From Kathleen Nay
Thank you for your question. Perfect Day does not actively do any animal testing. The FAQ reads like that because the United States is not our only intended market for partnerships or products; because regulatory requirements are different in different parts of the world, we may be required to demonstrate safety via animal tests.
We find the practice abhorrent and do not condone it. Since the founding of our company, we’ve been motivated by a desire to bring a more compassionate approach to food manufacturing. We fully support replacing animal testing with other validated methods to ensure the safety of new food ingredients, and we use our influence to advocate for alternate methods wherever possible.
Thank you again for reaching out.
Public Affairs & Content Specialist
Do they abhor themselves? Do they not condone themselves for doing animal testing and harming hundreds of animals? (Or do they only condone it when others do it?) Then why do it and not find alternatives?
Despite all this, they take things to a whole new level and give us this claim on their FAQ:
Is your protein vegan?
Our product is a great option for vegans as there are no animals involved whatsoever – we hear from vegans every day that are excited about our products! There are many reasons for following a vegan diet and lifestyle though so we encourage each person to decide individually whether our products are right for them.
Regardless, our product is not suitable for those with milk allergies because our protein is identical to the proteins from cows. Products made with Perfect Day are labeled with, “Contains: Milk Protein.”
This hypocrisy should be featured in the dictionary.
On the very same page they admit they do animal testing, they try to claim their product is vegan. Is this where vegan standards are today, or is this a company gaslighting vegans?
🎶You’re going to reap just what you sow..🎶
Vegans reject animal testing and other forms of animal exploitation. Perfect Day is the product of animal testing. How is anyone tolerating this?
Perfect Day (and some companies using their ingredient) are intentionally misleading vegans, falsely claiming this product vegan. It is not remotely vegan. It would fail vegan certification. It’s not even wanted by vegans.
This is little more than the targeted capitalist marketing of a novel ingredient with virtually no substantial commercial interest. They’re nearly completely dependent on the good will of vegans to try and carve out some market space, and are happy to manipulate and deceive us to accomplish their goals.
Just say no way to Perfect Day. We have to maintain standards, and collectively reject this company who deceives vegans and harms animals – and they’ll get their due in the end.
– Dave Shishkoff, Editor
Feel like a little vegan activism? Tell Perfect Day you oppose animal testing companies, and that they can’t call their product ‘vegan’. Their contact form is here. Thank you on behalf of the little ones. (We’ll leave this up until they stop misleading people and calling their ingredient vegan.)