At Impossible Foods, our mission is to decrease the world’s reliance on animals in the global food system in order to make it more sustainable. We’ve made some great progress over the past decade, including growing our product portfolio from one core product to a suite of plant-based beef, chicken and pork products, and expanding availability across the world. However, in order to achieve our mission, we have a lot of work – and growth – ahead of us, including bringing our products to more people in new markets.
In 2019, we filed the paperwork required by the European Food Safety Authority to approve our products in Europe. We began the same process with the UK Food Standards Agency in 2021 (post-Brexit) for approval in the United Kingdom.
As part of this process, both agencies required that we conduct industry-standard tests, including a 90-day dietary study in which our novel ingredient, soy leghemoglobin (AKA heme), was fed to rats. Although a similar 28-day study from 2017 had already demonstrated the safety of heme and enabled us to grow our business across four continents, this new study was required by regulatory authorities in the UK and Europe as a prerequisite for regulatory approval in those markets.
Ultimately, the study reinforces our exemplary track record of safety and the high quality of our products, demonstrating that heme is safe for consumption without any adverse health effects. Today, we published the results in the Journal of Toxicology(opens in a new tab) so that the information is publicly available to all who are interested in the safety of our products.
While we’re pleased with the results, our longstanding position remains firm: we do not agree with or endorse this form of testing, and we avoid it whenever possible. We will continue to do our part to advocate for a change to food safety testing standards, as doing so goes hand in hand with our mission to end the world's reliance on animals in the global food system.
We encourage anyone who shares our opposition to these types of tests to get involved in industry efforts advocating for food safety agencies to adopt alternative testing methods.