Last week, news surfaced that Impossible Foods was testing its key ingredient – heme – on rats. In its first statement since that revelation -- titled The Agonizing Dilemma of Animal Testing – Impossible Foods’ CEO Patrick O. Brown explained the company's stance on the subject, which noted fundamental differences with the Food and Drug Administration on the safety of ‘uncommon ingredients.’
“The core of Impossible Foods’ mission is to eliminate exploitation of animals in the food system and to reduce the enormous destructive impact of the animal farming and fishing industries on the environment, including wildlife and the ecosystems they depend on,” Brown said.
The CEO, who has been vegan 14 years, stated that he believes that – for meat-eaters – products like the impossible Burger are the best way to reduce animal suffering because they evoke an uncanny meat-like taste.
Brown explained that his team's goal was to do the least amount of harm possible by choosing a smaller number of rats, living in the best possible conditions, in a lab known for ‘humane testing’ -- with hopes of never having to do testing of this kind ever again.
“It is industry standard to perform rat-feeding studies to demonstrate that a food ingredient is not toxic and is safe,” Brown stated. “I personally abhor the exploitation of animals, not only in the food system but in testing and research.”
“Nobody is more committed or working harder to eliminate exploitation of animals than Impossible Foods," Brown said. "Avoiding the dilemma was not an option. We hope we will never have to face such a choice again, but choosing the option that advances the greater good is more important to us than ideological purity.”
Is the testing Impossible Foods does more digestible after hearing from their CEO, or is it just capitalistic business delivering lip-service to get out of hot water? Comment below!