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Our beef with GMO impossible Burger

By Jaydee Hanson

In the food world, 2019 might as well be called The Impossible Burger year . This plant-based burger that "bleeding" can now be found at the menus Burger King, Fatburger, Cheesecake Factory, Red Robin, White Castle and many other national restaurant chains. Consumers praise the burger's meat-like texture, and the product is advertised as an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional steak burgers.

In January, Impossible Foods launched the Impossible Burger 2.0. The company has stated that the new burger is "tasters, juices and more nutritious" – with 40 percent less saturated fat than the old recipe and as much protein as 80/20 meat from cows. The new product is also gluten-free and replaces wheat with soy protein. Unfortunately, the impossible burger can just be too good to be true. At the Center for Food Safety we believe that replacing conventional animal products with ultra-processed, poorly studied and under-regulated genetically engineered products is not the solution to our factory's agricultural and climate crisis. Here's the science to back up.


The impossible burger is made from two different methods for genetic soy products. This "impossible nature" association is neither healthier nor more environmentally friendly than other types of non-meat burgers. Although Impossible Foods, the company behind the impossible burger, has tried to spread its product as both healthier and more sustainable than its competitors, a quick survey of its own data tells otherwise.

1. The first kind of genetic engineering in "Impossible Burger" is found in the soy used for the protein in the "burger" itself.

Instead of starting with organic soybeans that have higher protein content and lower levels of omega 6 fatty acids (the bad omega), the company chose to use GMO soybeans, probably because they are cheaper than organic beans . The company uses both GMO soy protein concentrate and GMO soy protein isolate for the protein in its burger. Impossible foods do not describe how it treats soy, but alcohol is the most common solvent used to treat soy protein concentrate as it produces products with a neutral taste. But the beneficial isoflavones in soy are removed by this method. Soy protein concentrate has the lowest level of healthy isoflavones – including daidzein, genistein and glycitin – of any type of treated soy.

Unfortunately, GMO soy is also sprayed with large amounts of the herbicide glyphosate, a product which is shown to cause cancer in humans exposed during its use. GMO soy has been found to use significantly more herbicides than conventional soy or organic soy. At a time when juries are giving billions of dollars to the detriment of those affected by glyphosate, it is amazing that impossible foods will double on GMO soy that is inextricably linked to this toxic herbicide.

2. The second kind of gene technology of soy produces "heme" which makes the impossible burger "bleeding".

To produce its burgers, Impossible Foods takes DNA from the roots of soybean plants, producing a small amount of "heme" and inserting it into genetically engineered yeast, which is then fermented to mass production hampers. This is the first time people have used this product. U.S. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will require testing in this situation to ensure that this new protein does not cause allergic reactions in humans. Unfortunately, the FDA instead of demanding that Impossible Foods be able to file a new food supplement request that the company apply a weak regulatory process called "Generally Recognized As Safe" (GRAS), where the company itself investigates and selects its own reviewers for self-certification that its product is safe for human consumption. The Food Safety Center has a trial challenging GRAS food additive loophole through which the Impossible Burger went, so that it and many other novel foods illegally avoid government analysis and approval before they enter the market.

Even during the weak GRAS process, The first time the company submitted data on the allergenicity of its "heme", it was so insufficient that the FDA raised questions about the company's data and the company withdrew its application to restore it its research. Although the FDA now says it has "no question" about Impossible Food's latest research on the safety of "heme", the agency itself has not confirmed that "heme" produced in genetically modified yeast is safe for human consumption. In addition, the FDA has warned Impossible Foods that it cannot claim that its "heme" is a source of iron based on this review and that it should label its product as a potential allergen. The FDA also notes that the company should request a "heme" notification as a new dye.


Most Impossible Burger consumers will not see labels saying that burgers are made from GMO soy or could cause allergic reactions, as Impossible Foods currently only sells to fast food chains that do not put such labels on their menus. [19659002] Instead of buying GMOx2 Impossible Burger, choose a non-GMO burger made in your local area. The Washington Post has recently highlighted six veggie-based burgers made from local restaurants that do not serve the impossible burger.

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