Inventor Of The New £5 Note Says Vegetarians Are 'Stupid'

The animal fat fivers have sparked major controversy

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Vegetarians and vegans who are protesting against the new £5 note containing animal fat are all "stupid", according to the banknote's inventor.

Professor David Solomon, who developed the first polymer bank note in 1988, has defended the new notes by saying they contain "trivial" amounts of tallow, an animal fat rendered from beef, The Independent reports.

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"It's stupid. It's absolutely stupid," Solomon told the Australian radio station 2GB when asked about the recent backlash against the notes. "There's trivial amounts of it in there," he added.

In an attempt to rally supporters, Solomon also highlighted the benefits that come with using tallow in the fivers. "It picks up less drugs than paper notes and you don't chop down trees," he said. "It's more hygienic than a paper note by a long way."

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However, improved hygiene hasn't stopped thousands of outraged people from signing a petition to ban the note, which has now attracted more than 120,000 signatures.

"There is no excuse for it. There has got to be other ways of making money without using animal products," Doug Maw, who started the petition, told the Press Association.

The new notes continue to spark debate on Twitter. Some are taking the issue more seriously than others...

In response to the uproar, the Bank of England said it would treat people's concerns with the "utmost respect" in a statement on Tuesday. The bank is now looking into ways of removing tallow from the manufacturing process.