The U.S. Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) has given a nod to Impossible Foods’ production of their infamous Impossible Burger.
The company which is renowned for their burger – the ‘bleeding’ burger – deemed to be plant-based, received a heads-up from the FDA allowing them to continue with the production. This followed a complaint from a number of organizations including Friends of the Earth and ETC Group which had requested for the halt of the production process until it was proved that the product’s genetically engineered protein was safe for public consumption.
Impossible Foods finally has their pass from the FDA!
Over time, Impossible Foods have developed a recipe which they have used for the production of their burgers. Therein is soy leghaemoglobin – the currently contested genetically engineered protein – which has led the company to undergo a test by the FDA. During this period, they have had to produce an over 1,000-page document so as to combat the criticism they have received from the aforementioned bodies. The criticism culminated in August 2017 when the bodies required that the FDA reviews the ingredients used in the manufacture of the burger and ensure that they are safe. In their joint press release, the team stated:
“The FDA told Impossible Foods that its burger was not going to meet government safety standards, and the company admitted it didn’t know all of its constituents. Yet it sold it anyway to thousands of unwitting consumers… Impossible Foods should pull the burgers from the market unless and until safety can be established by the FDA and apologize to those whose safety it may have risked.”
The journey had since then been long for Impossible Foods as they had to submit themselves to a myriad of tests so as to ensure they didn’t close their operations. First was the GRAS approval – which is short for ”generally recognized as safe” – which allowed them to continue operating prior to the FDA approval. This was followed by the rat tests which saw them feed rats with excessively high levels of soy leghaemoglobin and assess any side effects to which none were recorded. All in all, the above tests went only to prove the safety of the product; the FDA approval only goes to give a governmental thumbs-up to the product.
Given the above, the change in the omnivore community is not only visible but palpable. People can now have a sense of eating animal-based meat – courtesy of the iron taste as well as the bleeding aspect – without really eating it. Over time, and with people accepting it, more and more will now able enjoy the Impossible Burger which has now made the impossible possible.