The Impossible Burger wouldn’t be possible without genetic engineering

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[Editor’s note: Read a San Francisco Chronicle article about this controversy and letter from the CEO of Impossible Foods here.]

The [New York Times story] depicted Impossible Foods as a culinary version of Uber — disrupting so rapidly that it’s running “headlong into” government regulators. In reality, Impossible Foods has behaved like a pedestrian food company, working hand in hand with the FDA and following a well-worn path to comply with an arcane set of rules.

So why isn’t this story a nothingburger?

In a word: GMOs. You see, soy leghemoglobin, or SLH, the key ingredient that makes the Impossible Burger uniquely meaty, is churned out by genetically modified yeast. “This is a protein produced with genetic engineering; it’s a new food ingredient,” Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth, told me when I asked why they’d singled out Impossible Foods.

[Read the GLP’s profile on Friends of the Earth.]

By tiptoeing around this issue, Impossible Foods set themselves up for a takedown by anti-GMO campaigners. These groups monitor new applications of genetic engineering, watch for potentially incriminating evidence, then work with journalists to publicize it.

When I asked Impossible Foods’ founder Pat Brown about the GMO question, he said he didn’t think that battle was theirs to fight.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: The Impossible Burger wouldn’t be possible without genetic engineering