Pat Brown, CEO and Founder of Impossible Foods has released a statement after increasing pressure from the vegan and vegetarian communities. Last week, we reported 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 said: 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.”
Since this news swept the vegan and vegetarian communities, Pat Brown has released a statement called ‘The agonizing dilemma of animal testing’.
It documents the company’s personal struggle between testing their key ingredient, soy leghemoglobin, on rats and ‘the future of billions of animals whose future depends on [the burger’s] success.’
Brown says: “we were confronted with an agonizing dilemma: We knew from our research that heme is absolutely essential to the sensory experience meat lovers crave. Replacing animals in the diets of meat lovers would absolutely require heme. So without the rat testing, our mission and the future of billions of animals whose future depends on its success was thwarted. We chose the least objectionable of the two choices available to us”
“We designed the study rigorously so that it would never have to be done again. We used the minimum number of rats necessary for statistically valid results. Before conducting our rat test, we carefully screened testing companies and selected the one with the most humane practices. We sought advice from many sources to make sure we chose the testing lab with the best record for humane practices and carefully specified the most humane handling, testing and housing practices available without compromising the test.
“As expected there were zero adverse effects from consumption of leghemoglobin even at levels vastly greater than any human would ever consume.
“Nobody is more committed or working harder to eliminate exploitation of animals than Impossible Foods. Avoiding the dilemma was not an option. We made the choice that anyone who sincerely cares about reducing suffering and exploitation of animals should make.
“We hope we will never have to face such a choice again, but choosing the option that advances the greater good is more important to us than ideological purity.”