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Animal rights organisation PETA has decided not to back the famous Impossible Burger, the vegan burger that ‘bleeds,’ because one of its main ingredients is tested on animals.
In a statement on its website titled, ‘Why It’s impossible for PETA to Get Behind the Impossible Burger,’ they say that San Francisco-based, Bill Gates-backed Impossible Foods, which makes the Impossible Burger, has “decided voluntarily to test one of its burger ingredients – soy leghemoglobin –by feeding it to a total of 188 rats in three separate tests, killing them, and cutting them up, none of which it has ever been required to do in order to market its products.”
Leghemoglobin, taken from soy root, gives the burger its ‘meaty’ taste, but Impossible is not required by law to test it on animals and PETA say the company has refused to rule out testing products on animals again. The tests involved feeding the rats 200 times the amount of heme, an iron-containing compound, in the form of leghemoglobin, than the average American would get in a day from ground beef, reports Metro, before dissecting them.
“How could anyone feel good about eating something from a company that chose to feed caged rats ‘massive doses’ of a substance before they were killed and their bodies were cut up?” say PETA.
This comes in the week that the FDA in the US ruled that heme was safe for humans to consume, meaning the Impossible Burger can now be rolled out more widely, having already found favour with chefs like David Chang and May Chow, and appeared on Michelin-starred menus.
PETA also lays into the burger’s health credentials in the statement, describing it as “probably the unhealthiest veggie burger on the market,” due to its high fat and excessive iron content.
They have been known to endorse other meat substitute brands such as Beyond Meat, however.