Impossible Burger Animal Testing

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EquALLity
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Impossible Burger Animal Testing

Post by EquALLity » Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:21 pm

Despite the Impossible Burger being deemed generally safe, the FDA requested (optional) more testing on soy heme, the key to the burger's meaty flavor. IB fed it to 188 rats and dissected them, causing many vegans to oppose the burger. In my vegan Facebook groups, there seems to be a consensus that the burger isn't vegan.

IMO, given that society has often learned the danger of products long after their release, we should test new ingredients substantially to ensure their safety as much as possible. Right now, animal testing is still apart of safety testing, and leaving it out might make us miss something. So, I understand why IB would test the ingredient further. While IB might have been somewhat motivated by FDA PR, I still think it was probably necessary and I consider it vegan.

What do you guys think?
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Post by Prophiscient » Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:00 pm

While I don't like that animal testing is done, I don't consider animal tested products to be non-vegan. If a product was completely vegan but was also tested on animals, I'd still consider that product to be vegan.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:50 pm

Not only is it not cosmetic, it was a one-off test which is totally different from a lot test. Buying the burger doesn't cause ongoing animal tests. The heme product is tested and basically cleared for all time now.

Or are we not using any products that have ever been tested on animals? That would seem pretty prohibitive.

The only way it would be non-vegan to buy/consume it is if ongoing animal tests were done on every batch.

By the way: The reason it needed to be tested was for investment and partnerships. The products could have basically been pulled from the shelves any day due to a politically motivated complaint to the FDA, and anybody working with them could have potentially been sued. That represented a risk for investors since Impossible foods' value rides on its star ingredient. By clearing their heme, they eliminate that risk and make it possible for investors (and other companies) to put more faith in Impossible Foods, infusing it with the cash that ultimately managed to push this into the mainstream (nation-wide at burger king? WTF is this real?).
The question there becomes one of consequentialism. The Impossible Burger couldn't have gotten where it is without those tests. Anybody who thinks 188 rats are more important than thousands and maybe millions of cows (depending on how this sells) is insane.

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Post by EquALLity » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm

Prophiscient wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:00 pm
While I don't like that animal testing is done, I don't consider animal tested products to be non-vegan. If a product was completely vegan but was also tested on animals, I'd still consider that product to be vegan.
What if a company tests on animals unecessarily? That's where I personally draw the line, and I think that's not what happened here.
brimstoneSalad wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:50 pm
The question there becomes one of consequentialism. The Impossible Burger couldn't have gotten where it is without those tests. Anybody who thinks 188 rats are more important than thousands and maybe millions of cows (depending on how this sells) is insane.
A lot of vegans are insane. :lol: Hopefully, it's just emphasized through Facebook and not a real representation of vegans.
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Post by Prophiscient » Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:23 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm
Prophiscient wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:00 pm
While I don't like that animal testing is done, I don't consider animal tested products to be non-vegan. If a product was completely vegan but was also tested on animals, I'd still consider that product to be vegan.
What if a company tests on animals unecessarily? That's where I personally draw the line, and I think that's not what happened here.
Like I said, I wouldn't like it or support it (I'd probably even be against it), but I wouldn't consider the product, itself, to be non-vegan.

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Post by EquALLity » Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:48 pm

Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:23 pm
EquALLity wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm
Prophiscient wrote:
Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:00 pm
While I don't like that animal testing is done, I don't consider animal tested products to be non-vegan. If a product was completely vegan but was also tested on animals, I'd still consider that product to be vegan.
What if a company tests on animals unecessarily? That's where I personally draw the line, and I think that's not what happened here.
Like I said, I wouldn't like it or support it (I'd probably even be against it), but I wouldn't consider the product, itself, to be non-vegan.
Ok. I wanted to clarify if you would support it or not, because I don't think the vegan label is the point.
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Post by Prophiscient » Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:37 pm

EquALLity wrote:
Wed Aug 28, 2019 5:48 pm
Prophiscient wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:23 pm
EquALLity wrote:
Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:27 pm

What if a company tests on animals unecessarily? That's where I personally draw the line, and I think that's not what happened here.
Like I said, I wouldn't like it or support it (I'd probably even be against it), but I wouldn't consider the product, itself, to be non-vegan.
Ok. I wanted to clarify if you would support it or not, because I don't think the vegan label is the point.
Well, I don't support it in the sense that I don't think it's ideal, and I'd prefer if animals weren't tested on, but I don't go out of my way to avoid animal-tested products that are otherwise vegan.

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Post by Jebus » Sun Sep 01, 2019 11:25 pm

Prophiscient wrote:
Sun Sep 01, 2019 6:37 pm
I don't go out of my way to avoid animal-tested products that are otherwise vegan.
Do you mean non-food items? If not, how many animal-tested vegan foods have you been aware of?

I wouldn't have known about the Impossible Burger had I not seen this thread and I don't know of any other.
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Post by Evie » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:47 pm

Lets just compare this to other meat products on the market for vegans. Soy protein isolate, pea protein isolate, much of the proteins from processed foods and from protein powders that we eat today are FDA cleared. I mean do we honestly think that B12 was never tested on animals either? That means these tests were done on all of them. While I do disagree with things like skin care products or shampoo being tested on animals, I honestly don't think we are getting away from animal testing when it comes to any fake meats that vegans eat. All of them were tested at some point. That being said I do appreciate the careful approach to the study that was taken by impossible burger. Right now for scientific progress in the imitation meat industry which saves an infinite amount of lives requires this testing in order to be large scale. Beyond burger uses pea protein... which was created not by a vegan company. I don't think using an already tested product rather than improving on the system and developing a new product is ya know.. the worst. Its sad that these rats died and I feel bad that they did, but the problem doesn't start with impossible burger the problem starts with lacking other ways to test that are recognized as reliable by the FDA. Until then to make a new plant food derivative, we can assume animal testing is involved. I support vaccines because they help animals and humans. We need them. I by that same token support impossible burger and their choices. I do hope they let other companies use this new product and their research to make other food items so that the tests do not need to be repeated.

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Post by brimstoneSalad » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:50 pm

Well said Evie. I hope they let any company that develops a strain of Heme producing yeast use their cleared strain instead to save the testing. That would be an interesting question to ask Impossible Foods.

I asked them this by DM:
I have a question that came up on the Philosophical Vegan forum in regards to animal testing:

If another company developed a Heme producing strain of microbe (via some other method to get around whatever patents you have, and which was shown to be similarly efficient) and that company needed to have it tested on animals for FDA clearance, would you consider allowing them to use your patented strain instead to prevent more animal testing?
We'll see if they reply. If not, I might tweet it at them.

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