‘It’s less digestible than real meat, and certainly less nutritious’
Posted by Yudi Sherman
August 10, 2023
Fake meat giant Beyond Meat’s revenue plunged over 30% for the second quarter compared to last year as consumers turn to real meat.
The California-based company also slashed its annual sales forecast from $375m–$415m to $360m–$380m “in light of greater than expected consumer and category headwinds and their anticipated impact on net revenues,” according to The Telegraph. Last year, the company was forced to cut a fifth of its workforce as its stock dropped nearly 80%.
Beyond Meat, founded in 2009 to “fight climate change,” counts globalist billionaire Bill Gates as one of its investors. It has since supplied its plant-based fake meat to McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell, Walmart and PepsiCo. In 2013, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) named Beyond Meat “Company of the Year” and the company has been endorsed by several Hollywood celebrities.
Frontline News reported last year that Beyond Meat was distributing its fake Beyond Burger to 1,600 supermarkets throughout Germany as the country moves to reduce livestock to “fight climate change.”
Beyond Meat is not the only player in the fake meat industry. It primarily competes with Impossible Foods, which also provides plant-based meat, and Upside Foods, which provides lab-grown meat. All three companies are backed by Gates, who has clarified that government regulation may be needed to force people to transition to fake meat.
“I don’t think the poorest 80 countries will be eating synthetic meat,” Gates told the MIT Technology Review. “I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.”
But nutrition experts have been warning against fake meat. Nutritionist and Sacred Cow: The Case for (Better Meat) author Diana Rodgers says lab-grown meat, such as that sold by Upside Foods, is still not as healthy as McDonalds.
“I’d rather eat my shoe than lab-grown meat,” Rodgers stated.
British investigative food journalist Joanna Blythman warns against even plant-based meat, which she says sometimes contain up to 30 artificial ingredients.
“Artificial plant-based proteins tend to be loaded with ‘anti-nutrients’ – compounds that make it harder for our guts to absorb beneficial macro and micronutrients,” Blythman wrote in an article for the Daily Mail. “Essentially, it’s less digestible than real meat, and certainly less nutritious.”
While Gates and his World Economic Forum (WEF) colleagues hope to significantly reduce meat consumption by 2030 and, ideally, phase it out completely by 2050, Blythman says the global real meat industry is forecasted to rise up to 7% annually.
There are also significant concerns about fake meat’s purported contribution to the climate. Plants require fertilizer, processing and shipping, too, and lab-grown meat is also expected to be environmentally taxing.
A preprint study published in April by University of California, Davis researchers found that if fake meat becomes as widely accepted as globalists would like, it could be extremely harmful to the climate.
The researchers found that the production process for fake meat emits 246 to 1,508 kg of carbon dioxide per kilogram of fake meat, while retail meat production produces only about 60 kg of CO2 per kilogram. According to the scientists’ estimates, producing fake meat is 4 to 25 times worse for the climate than real beef.
“Currently, animal cell-based meat products are being produced at a small scale and at an economic loss, however companies are intending to industrialize and scale-up production,” the scientists opine in the study.
“Results indicate that the environmental impact of near-term animal cell-based meat production is likely to be orders of magnitude higher than median beef production if a highly refined growth medium is utilised,” they concluded.
Sometimes you have to wonder what the globalists are up to. A bombshell report from Bloomberg earlier this month revealed the lab-grown meat strongly supported by Bill Gates has cancer cells.
You are reading this correctly. You are devouring glorified cancer tumors when consuming fake meat.
Joe Fassler, the author of the piece, revealed that in order for lab-grown meat companies to produce what they “cultured meat,” they utilize what are called “immortalized cells.” These cells, in some cases ,are fully cancerous.
The big honking asterisk is that normal meat cells don’t just keep dividing forever. To get the cell cultures to grow at rates big enough to power a business, several companies, including the Big Three, are quietly using what are called immortalized cells, something most people have never eaten intentionally. Immortalized cells are a staple of medical research, but they are, technically speaking, precancerous and can be, in some cases, fully cancerous.
Despite this, leading scientists claim you cannot get cancer when you eat fake meat.
If we wanted to, we could eat malignant chicken tumors by the bucketload. “It’s essentially impossible for a cell from one species to gain a foothold in the tissues of another species,” says Dr. Robert Weinberg. “So even if one were to take highly malignant cells from a cow and drink them, I don’t see what the problem would be.”
The FDA, as previously reported by the Gateway Pundit, also asserted lab meat was safe to eat back in November.
The problem with this assumption according to National Pulse, is that these “immortalized cell lines” reproduce forever, just like cancer. This means they are effectively cancer.
These cell lines have been used in scientific research but never to produce food before. So the assertions by scientists that cancer cells in lab grown meat cannot cause cancer are not exactly based on factual information.
We also cannot forget what happened during the COVID-19 pandemic when the experts lied at multiple turns and cost millions of workers their jobs and even their lives. Trusting them on health matters can be questionable.
Cancer is not the only potential danger from eating fake meat. The Children’s Health Defense Fund reported on a study by Impossible Foods in September which demonstrated that rats had serious complications such as unexplained weight gain and anemia.
In 2019 the manufacturing company, Impossible Foods, applied for permission to market the burger in the EU and the U.K.
However, the results of a rat feeding study commissioned by Impossible Foods and carried out with SLH suggest that the burger may not be safe to eat.
SLH is the substance that gives the burger its meaty taste and makes it appear to bleed like meat when cut. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially refused to sign off on the safety of SLH when first approached by the company.
The rat-feeding study results suggest that the agency’s concerns were justified. Rats fed the GM yeast-derived SLH developed unexplained changes in weight gain, changes in the blood that can indicate the onset of inflammation or kidney disease, and possible signs of anemia.
Rat feeding study suggests the Impossible Burger may not be safe to eat
Rats fed GM yeast-derived protein soy leghemoglobin – the burger’s key ingredient – developed signs of toxicity. Report by Claire Robinson and Dr Michael Antoniou
The Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger, the key ingredient of which is a protein called soy leghemoglobin (SLH for short), derived from genetically modified (GM) yeast. It’s already being sold in restaurants and supermarkets in the US. In 2019 the manufacturing company, Impossible Foods, applied for permission to market the burger in the EU and the UK.
However, the results of a rat feeding study commissioned by Impossible Foods and carried out with SLH suggest that the burger may not be safe to eat.
SLH is the substance that gives the burger its meaty taste and makes it appear to bleed like meat when cut. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) initially refused to sign off on the safety of SLH when first approached by the company. The rat feeding study results suggest that the agency’s concerns were justified. Rats fed the GM yeast-derived SLH developed unexplained changes in weight gain, changes in the blood that can indicate the onset of inflammation or kidney disease, and possible signs of anaemia.
2015: FDA says SLH safety not proven
The company maintains that SLH is safe to eat. It wanted the US Food and Drug Administration to agree with its self-declared conclusion that SLH is “GRAS” (Generally Recognized As Safe), providing reassurance for consumers. But in 2015, in response to Impossible Foods’ first application, the FDA refused to agree that the substance was safe. It responded with tough questions for the company, as revealed in documents obtained under a Freedom of Information request.
The FDA was concerned that SLH has never been consumed by humans and may be an allergen. The agency pointed out that the safety information submitted by Impossible Foods was not specific enough: “Although proteins are a part of the human food supply, not all proteins are safe. Information addressing the safe use of modified soy protein does not adequately address safe use of soybean leghemoglobin protein from the roots of the soybean plant in food.”
The FDA concluded, “FDA believes that the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of SLH for consumption, nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.”
2017: Impossible Foods tries again
In 2017 Impossible Foods tried again with a new application for GRAS status. It submitted data from a study that the company had commissioned in which rats were fed SLH.
Although Impossible Foods had in its 2015 submission told the FDA it intended to conduct a 90-day feeding study (the standard length for subchronic toxicity in rats), the company said that following “feedback” from the agency, it had decided on a shorter study of 28 days.
While this change would cut costs for Impossible Foods, it is not in the public health interest. That’s because the shorter the duration of a study, the less likely it is to find health effects such as organ damage, which take time to show up.
The number of animals and duration of a feeding study are two key design elements in an investigation of the safety of a GM food substance.
It was always unlikely that SLH would have strong and obvious toxic effects in the short term; any adverse effects from a novel food substance would likely be subtle. Long-term studies with relatively large numbers of animals are required in order to reveal the significance of such effects. Given these requirements, it seems clear that Impossible Foods’ study was statistically weak. There were too few animals in each test group (10 per sex per group) and again, the study was too short in duration (28 days in a rat is equivalent to just 2-3 years in a human) to clarify any health concerns from long-term consumption of this product.
Potentially adverse effects in SLH-fed rats
In light of these limitations, it is remarkable that the SLH-fed rats did show a large number of statistically significant potentially adverse effects, compared with the control group – for example:
* unexplained transient decrease in body weight gain
* increase in food consumption without weight gain
* changes in blood chemistry
* decreased reticulocyte (immature red blood cell) count (this can be a sign of anemia and/or damage to the bone marrow where red blood cells are produced)
* decreased blood clotting ability
* decreased blood levels of alkaline phosphatase (can indicate malnutrition and/or celiac disease)
* increased blood albumin (can indicate acute infection or damage to tissues) and potassium values (can indicate kidney disease)
* decreased blood glucose (low blood sugar) and chloride (can indicate kidney problems)
* increased blood globulin values (common in inflammatory disease and cancer).
The fact that these changes were seen in spite of the statistical weaknesses of the study (stemming from the short duration and low number of animals in each group) gives particular reason for concern.
Reproductive changes in SLH-fed females?
In the study, apparent disruptions in the reproductive cycle were found in some groups of females fed SLH. In normal healthy rats, the uterus fills up with fluid during the proestrus phase of the cycle, in the run-up to the fertile and sexually receptive phase (estrus). In the SLH-fed rats, significantly fewer “fluid filled” uteri were seen. This correlated with decreased uterus weight, as might be expected.
In response to this finding, Impossible Foods commissioned a second rat feeding study, which found no effect on the SLH on the rats’ estrus cycle. The company concluded that the findings of the first study had been a mere artifact of the experimental method used.
For the sake of the women who may eat the Impossible Burger on a regular basis, we hope that the company is correct.
All effects dismissed
Impossible Foods dismissed all these effects as “non-adverse”, as having “no toxicological relevance”, as “transient” on the grounds that they appeared to reverse themselves after some days, and as not dependent on the dose (i.e. the effect did not increase with increasing dose).
It is true that the adverse outcomes may appear somewhat haphazard. However, the fact that there were so many statistically significant changes in multiple organs and systems suggests that closer scrutiny of the safety of SLH is urgently required. The apparent randomness of the effects may be due to the fact that the study design was statistically weak. And it is well known that toxic effects do not always follow a linear dose-response pattern. Dismissing the findings as irrelevant appears irresponsible.
The only way of ascertaining if potentially adverse effects seen in short studies are truly adverse or have lasting consequences is to extend the study length to the rats’ full lifetimes (2-3 years) and to do multigenerational testing. In this case, neither was done.
Impossible Foods’ second attempt to obtain GRAS status for SLH succeeded and the FDA issued a “no questions” letter, indicating that it had no further questions.
Contrary to what many people believe, such letters are not an assertion by the FDA that the food in question is safe. They state that the company asserts that the food is safe and remind the company that it, and not the FDA, is responsible for ensuring that it only puts safe foods on the market.
“No questions” letters may protect the FDA from liability in case something goes wrong. But they do not protect the consumer from unsafe novel foods.
Another GMO ingredient
In 2019 Impossible Foods introduced a new recipe for its Impossible Burger. In addition to GMO-derived SLH, the burger now contains another GMO ingredient: protein from herbicide-tolerant soy. The company introduced soy protein to replace wheat protein in order to improve the texture and to avoid gluten, the protein in wheat that some people cannot tolerate.
As a result, Impossible Burger Version 2.0 can contain residues of the “probable carcinogen” glyphosate, the main ingredient of the herbicide used on GM soy.
Testing by Health Research Institute Laboratories, commissioned by the advocacy group Moms Across America, found glyphosate at a level of 11.3 ppb. The level was 11 times higher than the Beyond Meat burger, another plant-based burger that is made from non-GMO ingredients. (However, Beyond Meat’s crashing stock suggests that the hype over any fake meat product is misplaced.)
Knowing the concerns that the use of GMO soy protein and glyphosate residues may raise, Impossible Foods CEO Pat Brown has gone to some lengths to reassure the buying public. But based on what the rat feeding studies tell us about the potential health effects of the Impossible Burger, the company would be well advised to shelve SLH and the reformulate their product with natural – and if possible organic and minimally processed – ingredients.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Creators of a fake-meat burger made with a high-profile genetically engineered ingredient may have landed their experimental industry in a sizzling food safety mess, casting doubt on a Silicon Valley foodtech investor bubble.
As reported on in today’s New York Times, recently obtained documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that Impossible Foods, maker of the Impossible Burger, the meatless burger that supposedly “bleeds,” was told by FDA officials that it hadn’t provided adequate proof of safety for a genetically engineered protein that gives the burger its meat-like taste and color. Impossible Foods put the genetically engineered product on the market for public consumption even though the company privately admitted to the FDA that it had not conducted or designed safety tests. The FOIA-produced documents state that the “FDA believes that the arguments presented, individually and collectively, do not establish the safety of SLH for consumption, nor do they point to a general recognition of safety.”
“The FDA told Impossible Foods that its burger was not going to meet government safety standards, and the company admitted it didn’t know all of its constituents. Yet it sold it anyway to thousands of unwitting consumers. Responsible food companies don’t treat customers this way,” said Jim Thomas of ETC Group. “Impossible Foods should pull the burgers from the market unless and until safety can be established by the FDA and apologize to those whose safety it may have risked.”
“Under no circumstances should any food company ignore FDA safety warnings and put consumers’ health at risk,” Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner at Friends of the Earth. “The FDA must be the authority when it comes to determining food safety, and that means overhauling the broken regulatory process so that companies like Impossible Foods cannot self-regulate and rubber stamp their products as safe.”
The FDA’s safety designation of “generally recognized as safe” (GRAS) allows a manufacturer, like Impossible Foods, to decide for itself, without FDA input, whether or not a product is safe. The self-determination does not require notice to the public or the FDA, and may apply to food chemicals regardless of industry conflicts of interest, or whether the chemicals are new or not widely studied.
U.S. government documents, obtained by ETC Group and Friends of the Earth U.S. through the Freedom of Information Act, reveal that Impossible Foods was warned by FDA officials that its key genetically engineered ingredient, “soy leghemeglobin” (SLH), would not meet the basic FDA GRAS status. SLH, or “heme,” is a bio-engineered protein additive that adds meat-like taste and color. Impossible Foods recognizes that SLH has never been widespread in the human diet in its natural or genetically engineered form. Despite touting the color properties of the engineered “heme,” Impossible Foods did not seek FDA approval as a color additive, which has stricter safety regulations.
In discussion with FDA, Impossible Foods also admitted that up to a quarter of its “heme” ingredient was composed of 46 “unexpected” additional proteins, some of which are unidentified and none of which were assessed for safety in the dossier.
The case of Impossible Burger raises concerns that surpass this one patty and implicates the extreme genetic engineering field of synthetic biology, particularly the new high-tech investor trend of “vat-itarian” foods (meat, dairy, and other animal proteins grown in a biotech vat instead of from an animal). While Impossible Burger is the poster child for this vat-grown approach, other companies such as Perfect Day (synthetic biology cow milk) and Clara Foods (synthetic biology egg whites) appear also to be racing to market. Just as biofuels were pitched as a “clean tech” fix to climate change a decade ago, the vat-itarian venture capitalists are now attempting to capitalize on animal welfare concerns through “molecular farming.”
While the health and environmental damage caused by large-scale industrial livestock production should not be minimized, the success of non-animal burgers like the non-GMO Beyond Burger demonstrates that plant-based animal substitutes can succeed without resorting to genetic engineering.
A 2013 US National Survey by Hart Research found that 61% of respondents felt negative about synthetic biology-produced food additives. Polls also show that consumers increasingly want GMOs to be labeled as such, but so far, most companies selling products with synthetic biology ingredients, including Impossible Foods, are not labeling on the products or menus.
Friends of the Earth and ETC Group reached out last week to Impossible Foods, inviting the company to a discussion on the safety of the Impossible Burger.
Impossible Burger FOIA documents are available here.
For further information and analysis see ETC Group’s on-line searchable database of synthetic biology derived ingredients, including Impossible Food’s “heme”.
See Friends of the Earth’s blog on synthetic biology animal replacement products “Is ‘Food-Tech’ the Future of Food?” and website for additional information on synthetic biology’s risks to our health and environment.