The Impossible Burger—deceptively marketed as “natural”—already contains a genetically engineered ingredient, a yeast referred to as "heme."
Now, Impossible Foods, maker of the fake meat patty, is adding another GMO ingredient: genetically engineered soy. Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown wants you to think the switch to GMO soy was motivated by the company’s “commitment to consumers and our planet.”
But that’s a lie. On so many levels.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown: GMO Soy is bad for consumers, bad for the planet!
After you use our form at the right to email Brown, do this:
• Post a comment on the Impossible Foods Facebook page
• Call Impossible Foods at (855) 877-6365
• Tweet this message to the CEO of Impossible Foods
Brown took his pitch for GMO soy and the Impossible Burger to the Internet, in an article titled, “How Our Commitment to Consumers and Our Planet Led Us to Use GM Soy.”
To which we say, baloney!
Brown’s “article” is nothing short of a slick, disingenuously crafted advertisement, full of claims that are at best dubious, at worst factually inaccurate.
You’ll find an in-depth discussion of the six reasons we believe Brown is wrong, in our latest article on the impossibly unsustainable and unhealthy Impossible Burger.
But before we launch into some of the most flawed arguments Brown lays out in his article, here’s the truth when it comes to the impossible claims about the Impossible Burger: Burger-loving consumers who care about their health, and the health of the environment will choose burgers made from 100% grass-fed beef.
Why choose regeneratively raised 100% grass-fed burgers? Because with more nutrients, and less risk of harmful pathogens, grass-fed beef is better for your health. And when managed properly, cows raised on grass can have a net-positive impact on the environment—by improving soil carbon sequestration, ecosystem biodiversity, reduced pesticide and fertilizer use.
Nothing healthy about GMO soy
Back to the Impossible Burger’s switch to GMO soy. Let’s start here, with Brown’s nonsense claim that GMO soy “meets the highest global standards for health, safety and sustainability.”
Wow. We’re talking about a crop modified to resist, and sprayed heavily with, Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller—a product that is the subject of more than 10,000 lawsuits filed by people who used the herbicide, then developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a potentially fatal form of cancer.
The first three of those lawsuits have produced massive judgments against Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer—the latest to the tune of over $2 billion.
And let’s not forget that a panel of 17 of the world’s best scientists at the World Health Organization unanimously agreed, despite attacks by the chemical industry and Monsanto, that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen.
Those are just a couple of reasons that make Brown’s “highest global standards for health” claim ludicrous. As for Impossible Foods “commitment to consumers,” does it really make sense to use an ingredient that nearly half of all consumers say they avoid, primarily out of concern for their health?
GM soy is a scourge on the environment
Moving on to Brown’s claim that Impossible Foods “embraces” genetic engineering “to solve critical environmental, health, safety and food security problems.”
We can’t even wrap our heads around that one.
GMO crops are grown with massive amounts of synthetic chemical fertilizers and herbicides, which destroy soil health, pollute waterways and end up on food, where they can harm human health.
Reckless use of herbicides inevitably causes nature to fight back with herbicide-resistant “superweeds,” a fact borne out by 2013 Food & Water Watch study, based on U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data.
What happens when farmers encounter superweeds? They use greater quantities of pesticides. When that fails, they step up their game with more powerful, and more dangerous chemicals, including some like atrazine, which is banned in other countries.
We could go on and on—and we do, in this article.
But the bottom line is this: If Impossible Foods is truly committed to saving the planet, the company will ditch the lab-grown fake meat and support ranchers who use organic and regenerative practices to responsibly raise 100% grass-fed beef.
We respect veganism as a personal choice. We also recommend consumers choose a diet high in plant matter, and that when they do eat meat, they eat only 100% pasture-rased, grass-fed meat—never meat from animals raised in industrial factory farms. We recommend this for consumer health, and for the health of the environment.
Pasture-fed meat is high in beta carotene, calcium, selenium, magnesium and potassium and vitamins E and B, and conjugated lineoleic acid (CLA), a powerful anti-carcinogen. It's also high in the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is vital for human brain development.
Apart from the health benefits of grass-fed meat, properly managed livestock play a critical role in restoring healthy soils and biodiversity, and in sequestering carbon. In fact, the best way to restore the health of our grasslands and prairies is to graze livestock, using regenerative grazing practices. In contrast, rows and rows of a single crop—whether it's wheat or GMO soy—degrade the soils ability to sequester carbon, and destroy wildlife habitats. For more on this topic, please read this article on our website, and this article published in the Guardian.