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Organic Consumers Association

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Take Action by September 3 for Fake Meat Food Safety!

Even if you prefer organic veggie burgers or grass-fed beef, even if you’d never touch the genetically engineered Impossible Burger, it’s important for all of us to demand safety testing and regulation of GMOs. 

The future of food—and public health—is at stake.

TAKE ACTION BY SEPTEMBER 3: Tell the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to safety test the GMO Impossible Burger—before the burger is sold to consumers!

The GMO Impossible Burger is so packed with poisons, that if eating it makes you sick, you’ll never be able to figure out which ingredient to blame.

Mercola.com reports that “any or all of the following ingredients in the Impossible Burger could potentially be GMO and/or contaminated with glyphosate:

"… Soy Protein Concentrate … Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors … Potato Protein, Methylcellulose (possibly from cotton), Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin … Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E) … Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12."

Impossible Foods, the Silicon Valley-based maker of the Impossible Burger, admits that consumers could experience adverse reactions to its lab-grown burger.

But in its warning to consumers the company downplays the potential risks associated with the burger’s genetically engineered ingredients, claiming that, hey, people could be allergic to just about any of the burger’s ingredients.

In other words, don’t blame the GMO ingredients!

Impossible Burger’s main ingredient is GMO soy. While organic fermented soy products like tofu or miso are healthy foods, the highly processed GMO soy in the burger is a nutritionally inferior junk food ingredient.

GMO soy is genetically engineered to soak up glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller. Glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Its maker, Monsanto (now owned by Bayer), has recently been ordered to pay out billions in compensation to victims who developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma as a result of using the weedkiller.

The other GMO ingredient in the Impossible Burger is soy leghemoglobin, or heme, which gives the burger its color and makes it “bleed.”

Rather than getting the heme straight from soy, Impossible Foods makes it by taking the genes that code for the soy leghemoglobin protein, inserting them into a species of yeast called Pichia pastoris, then feeding the genetically modified yeast sugar and minerals, to make it grow, replicate and manufacture heme. Then the heme is extracted from the yeast.

So many things can go wrong with this process. And it would be very difficult to detect contamination, before it was too late. 

In 1989, a food supplement, L-tryptophan, that was also produced using genetically modified bacteria, was found to be toxic. It killed 37 people and disabled more than1500 others.

In the L-tryptophan incident, the product was greater than 99 percent pure, devoid of DNA, and the toxin was present in less than 0.1 percent of the final marketed product. Still, it caused disease and death.

Dangers like this are why GMOs need to be safety tested.

The American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health supports mandatory safety assessments prior to release of genetically modified foods because of “a small potential for adverse events . . . due mainly to horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity and toxicity.” 

The National Academy of Sciences concluded that genetic modification posed a higher risk of introducing unintended changes into food than any other crop-breeding method other than mutation breeding, a method in which plant genomes are bombarded with radiation or chemicals to induce mutations.

The World Health Organization has stated: “Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.” 

The WHO recommends that “adequate post-market monitoring” is carried out to ensure the safety of genetically modified foods. Yet such monitoring is not carried out anywhere in the world. 

That’s why nearly 300 independent scientists from around the world issued a public warning that there was no scientific consensus about the safety of eating genetically modified food, and that the risks, as demonstrated in independent research, gave “serious cause for concern.”

The Impossible Burger is getting all kinds of media attention these days. Fast-Food restaurants are keen to sell it. And it could soon be on supermarket shelves.

The final FDA comment period on GMO heme comes to a close on September 3. This is your last chance to weigh in on the need for real regulation of GMOs.

TAKE ACTION BY SEPTEMBER 3: Tell the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to safety test the GMO Impossible Burger—before the burger is sold to consumers!

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