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FDA: Soy Leghemoglobin Is Safe In Plant Burgers

Would you like some soy leghemoglobin with your Impossible Burger? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it's now safe for consumption.

Benzinga · 12/19/2019 16:03

Would you like some soy leghemoglobin with your Impossible Burger?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday it's now safe for consumption.

What Happened

Impossible Burger, a rival to Beyond Meat Inc (NASDAQ: BYND), includes soy leghemoglobin in its plant-based food to mimic the "bleeding" characteristic of a beef burger.

The ingredient is "controversial" because it is a genetically engineered by combining soy protein with genetically engineered yeast, according to an April Healthline report.

On Tuesday, the FDA offered its seal of approval for soy leghemoglobin. The color additive is safe to consume and any prior concerns "do not raise genuine and substantial issues of fact and do not provide any substantive evidence that would justify a hearing," Dennis Keefe, Ph.D., the director of the FDA's office of food additive safety, said in a statement. 

Why It's Important

Soy leghemoglobin is a "feat of genetic engineering" but isn't technically a new ingredient in the food chain, according to the American Council on Science and Health. The ingredient is found in plants and offers a low source of iron.

"Like Frankenstein's monster, the Impossible Burger is a bit misunderstood and just wants your love," according to the pro-industry nonprofit. 

Consumers who want to eat more plant-based foods and less meat have a safe choice in Impossible Burger, according to the group, which said that while it is unlikely plant-based meat alternatives will save the planet by themselves, they certainly won't "kill you either."

Related Links:

Beyond Meat CEO Says Company Only Aligns With 'Marquee Players'

Nebraska Senator Introduces The Real MEAT Act In Pushback Against 'Phony Meat'

Photo courtesy of Impossible.