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.

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  1. Susan on August 9, 2017 at 7:18 pm

    To test on rats which is an animal is cruel

  2. on April 15, 2018 at 3:15 am

    The animals were killed to have their organs examined. Therefore, Impossible Burgers are not vegan.

  3. Paco on April 17, 2018 at 2:50 am

    “These burgers, however, have been confirmed as 100 per cent vegan.” Not a true statement… Vegan is more than eating plant base foods… It’s a lifestyle, philosophy, treatment towards sentient beings. Therefore, it is plant-based but not vegan.

    • Tracy on March 26, 2019 at 1:44 pm

      I agree! It’s frustrating that people do not understand this and throw the term around so loosely.

  4. H. Tomasz Grzybowski on April 28, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Then you should say 100% from vegan ingredients.

  5. Josh on April 14, 2019 at 11:41 am

    H Thomas grabowski…no you should just say its vegetatuam it is not vegan if it is not cruelty free period the word vegan is PRIMARILY based on being cruelty free regardless the ingredients this how people get confused either call it just plant based or meat alternative nut DO NOT call it vegan at all.

  6. JDEhrlich on July 24, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Damn. No Impossible Burger for me, then. Beyond Meat, it is…

  7. James N. Dawson on December 15, 2020 at 12:34 am

    I’m not going to say they’re not vegan, because I feel that that’s over-defining the term, and going beyond the original meaning. Many or most vegan products may involve some animal death and cruelty. Let’s be honest and humble about. But I always try to be as cruelty-free as possible—-I don’t claim to be perfect—-and go on my own case by case basis, I can’t in good conscience buy or consume their product. I’m not going to preach to other vegans who do, I just can’t bring myself to. I was very disappointed to hear about what they did. It was cynical, selfish and cravenly obedient to the FDA, which as a libertarian, is a tyrannical bureaucracy i can’t stand. Again, it’s a close call with me, and I can see it’s a major step in the right direction, but it’s just a line I can’t cross.

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