Impossible Foods says a complaint made to the Commerce Commission over the labelling of its plant-based burger product is wrong.
The California-based Impossible Foods launched its innovative plant-based burger product Impossible Beef in supermarkets across Australia and Aotearoa in March this year, after the product arrived in restaurants and other outlets in late 2021. The burger product went on sale at Countdown in March this year.
GE Free New Zealand has since complained about what it claims is the non-disclosure of GM soy protein as a main ingredient in the production of the Impossible burger. In April GE Free NZ accused Impossible Burger of using “a loophole in labeling laws to keep their deliberate use of GE soy hidden from consumers” and suggested that Countdown had dropped the product after concerns of greenwashing and deception.
Countering the claims, an Impossible Foods spokesperson said GE Free NZ’s complaint was incorrect and that Impossible Foods was transparent about the ingredients in its products. “Our packaging is labelled in accordance with Australian and New Zealand GM regulations, which clearly states that the only GM ingredient in Impossible Beef Made From Plants sold in Australia and New Zealand is soy leghemoglobin,” an Impossible Foods company spokesperson said.
“The false claim that this product contains genetically modified soy protein simply isn’t true.”
In other markets overseas, the Impossible Burger contains GM soy protein. The company has written extensively on its use of genetic engineering, stating that its products’ safety is backed up by numerous scientific experiments and calling some voices of opposition “anti-science.”
The American company Impossible Foods develops plant-based substitutes for meat products, launching the Impossible Burger in 2016. Unlike most plant-based products intended to emulate meat, the Impossible Burger contains large quantities of heme, the molecule that gives blood its red color and helps carry oxygen in living organisms. Heme is what makes meat taste like meat. Impossible Foods is on a stated mission to make the global food system truly sustainable by making substitute meat, fish, and dairy products from plants.