Glycerin has always been one of those tricky ingredients for vegetarians because it’s included in so many consumer products and can be either plant or animal derived. One of those items where you’ll frequently find glycerin is toothpaste. So, I wrote to Crest to ask them whether their glycerin comes from. The basic answer (it can come from either, whatever’s more available) didn’t surprised me, but some of the other information in their response did:
Crest Cavity Protection versions (Regular Paste, Cool Mint Gel, Icy Mint Striped and Kid’s Sparkle) don’t have glycerin, so they don’t contain animal by-products. Other versions of Crest contain glycerin which may be derived from vegetable or animal sources.
To assure yourself, we suggest checking the ingredient statement on Crest before you buy it. If glycerin isn’t listed, the Crest version contains no animal by-products. If glycerin is listed, it may be derived synthetically from either vegetable or animal sources, depending on which type is available at the time we buy it. If it’s made from animal sources, it may come from either beef or pork. There’s no way we can determine which form is in any particular package. However, any animal by-product used is chemically altered during manufacture and no longer resembles the original substance by the time it’s added to our product. Currently, we are in the process of converting to purely vegetable sources.
If religious beliefs, dietary preferences or medical conditions prevent your using products containing animal ingredients, share this information with your physician, dentist, minister, or rabbi. This person can better decide if you can use our product.
Hope this is helpful.
While I couldn’t care less if the product is “chemically altered” and “no longer resembles the original substance,” I was pleased to see that Crest is “in the process of converting to purely vegetable sources.” Good stuff and I hope they note that on their label when the time comes.