Home Christian Lifestyle Healthy Living Controversy Over Fake Meat Burger Heats Up as Documents Reveal FDA Safety Concerns By Dr. Mercola

Controversy Over Fake Meat Burger Heats Up as Documents Reveal FDA Safety Concerns By Dr. Mercola

3 min read

Three years ago, I wrote about the safety questions looming over the meat substitute known as Quorn, a fungus-based ferment that hit the U.S. market in 2002. Quorn was originally developed by Imperial Chemical Industries, one of the largest chemical companies in the U.K. The fungus used to make quorn is Fusarium venenatum, which is Latin for “venomous.”

Since its inception, a number of studies1 have raised concerns about Quorn’s safety, especially in people with food- and/or mold allergies. An early study by the manufacturer found 10 percent of 200 human subjects developed nausea or stomachache after eating Quorn.2 The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) maintains an adverse report collection site for Quorn-related illnesses, which include:3

  • Nausea
  • Cramps and/or diarrhea
  • Forceful vomiting
  • Anaphylactic reactions
  • Death4

Enter the Impossible Burger

The Quorn brand now has competition from Impossible Foods and its meatless, “bleeding” burger.5,6,7,8,9 Contrary to lab grown meat10(which may hit the U.S. market as early as next year11), this meat substitute contains a mix of soy, wheat, coconut oil, potatoes and “heme,” the latter of which is derived from genetically engineered yeast.

Impossible Foods was founded in 2011 by Pat Brown, a Stanford University chemist. A primary ingredient in the Impossible Burger is genetically engineered soy leghemoglobin, which releases a heme-like protein when broken down. This protein is what gives the plant-based patty its meatlike look, taste and texture, and makes the patty “bleed” when cooked.

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