Impossible Foods offers a hamburger that tries to mimic the flavor and consistency of meat. It proposes a product with the flavor and nutritional benefits of meat but avoiding negative impacts on health and the environment, according to its creators. Even a vegetarian would hesitate!
While all of its components are plant-based, the health impacts of soy leghemoglobin are in question and the FDA is requesting further testing. It is alleged that it has never been consumed by humans before and that, in the absence of further verification, it could constitute an allergen.
The US agency justified its position on several points. In one of them he indicated that the fact that the protein is of the globin type, a family to which the hemoglobin of the blood belongs, does not imply that it does not cause allergies. In another, he warned that, although they obtained it from a yeast, the original source of the substance is soy, "one of the eight foods with the most allergens." According to the company, however, "a careful search of allergen databases has shown that soy leghemoglobin has a very low allergenicity potential."
"Because we use 0% beef, our hamburger uses a tiny fraction of the Earth's natural resources.
Compared to cows, the Impossible Burger uses 95% less land, 74% less water, and creates 87% fewer greenhouse gas emissions.
And it is 100% free of hormones, antibiotics and artificial ingredients", they indicate on the company's website.
Despite the FDA's buts, the company continues to market its juicy vegan steak. The agency has not defined soy leghemoglobin as harmful to health and, in fact, approval is not required for some ingredients either. US law exempts companies from being accountable for additives as long as they are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by "qualified experts", from the company itself or from external institutions.
Neither one thing nor the other
“The FDA does not certify or confirm that food is safe. That responsibility falls on the manufacturers ”, they warn from Impossible Foods to LeafDeRouter.com. If they ask for their approval, they say, it is because they aspire to be a model of corporate transparency "voluntarily submitting the security data to the agency for its independent review" and obtaining indications "as part of the normal GRAS notification procedure".
Later this month, Impossible Foods will send the new tests, as well as the expert analyzes, to the FDA for another review and exchange of views. We will see what the agency thinks this time.
With information from: