It has been revealed that the company behind the plant based, bleeding Impossible Burger tested a key ingredient on animals to adhere to food safety standards.
In their IF Safety and Transparency document the company say: “The Impossible Burger is made through a simple, deliberate combination of plant based ingredients.
“One of the few ingredients in the Impossible Burger you may not know — one you can’t buy at the local grocery store — is ‘soy leghemoglobin’. Soy leghemoglobin is a protein that carries ‘heme’, an iron-containing molecule that occurs naturally in every animal and plant.”
They go on to say: “In 2014, two years before selling our first product, Impossible Foods performed numerous studies to evaluate the safety of soy leghemoglobin.
“In 2016, we also conducted a stringent rat feeding study to examine whether consumption of leghemoglobin in quantities more than 100-fold greater than normal dietary exposure would produce any adverse effects. Every day, rats consumed the equivalent of more than 200 times the amount of heme, in the form of leghemoglobin, that the average American consumes daily from ground beef.”
“In addition to daily observations of overall health, growth and behaviour, a meticulous examination of the rats’ organs found no evidence of any adverse effect from even this massive overconsumption of soy leghemoglobin.”
Despite this, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has refused to confirm that the ingredient is safe to eat saying: “F.D.A. believes the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of soy leghemoglobin for consumption.”
Whether or not it is safe to eat is, frankly, beside the point for vegans. The ingredients may be plant based but the burger, if its component ingredients are tested on animals, is not cruelty-free.
These burgers, however, have been confirmed as 100 per cent vegan.