impossible burger glyphosate
Impossible Foods is billing its Impossible Burger as a healthier, more sustainable option than beef, but when tested by consumer advocacy group Moms Across America (MAA), concerning levels of the herbicide glyphosate were found in the food.1

It's not at all surprising, considering the Impossible patty is made mostly of genetically engineered (GE) soy protein, and in the U.S. about 94 percent of soybean acres are planted with such GE seeds, which are designed to tolerate glyphosate, i.e., Roundup herbicides.2

This alone pokes holes in their attempts to greenwash an otherwise highly processed fake food, but the company's response to MAA's findings is even more disconcerting.

Impossible Foods Resorts to Insults, Name-Calling to 'Defend' Their Fake Burger

Impossible Foods' rebuttal to MAA's glyphosate testing has taken a page out of Monsanto's playbook: When a study shows reason for concern, immediately attempt to discredit the source using any means necessary, including insults and name-calling.

Rather than acknowledging that glyphosate in their food could be a problem - especially in light of the recent court cases against Bayer (which acquired Monsanto in 2018) totaling billions in judgments due to people who developed cancer as a result of Roundup use - they engaged in a veritable smear campaign against MAA.

In their Unofficial Correction of Moms Across America, Impossible Foods states, "MAA is an anti-GMO, anti-vaccine, anti-science, fundamentalist group that cynically peddles a toxic brew of medical misinformation and completely unregulated, untested, potentially toxic quack "supplements" ... "3

Really? In actuality, Moms Across America is a group of moms on a mission to raise awareness about toxic exposures and create healthy communities. They've previously commissioned research that's revealed glyphosate lurking in everything from almond milk and hummus to orange juice and veggie burgers - information consumers should know.

Impossible Foods also highlighted MAA's point that a staggering number of Americans have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), to which they rebutted, "Huh? This is a complete non-sequitur."4

Perhaps they're not aware, then, that as more and more glyphosate has been sprayed on agricultural lands, parks and backyards, entering our food and water supplies, NAFLD rates have trended upward, from a prevalence of 15% in 2005 to 25% in 2010.5

Glyphosate not only has been linked to liver damage at ultralow doses,6 but people with a more severe form of NAFLD called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, had significantly higher residues of glyphosate in their urine, according to one recent study.7,8

As for MAA's statements that glyphosate-based herbicides have been "proven to be carcinogenic," Impossible Foods stated this is "a ridiculous claim" and "No regulatory authority in the world considers glyphosate to be carcinogenic to humans at current exposure levels," tell this to the victims behind the at least 13,400 lawsuits that have been filed claiming exposure to glyphosate-containing Roundup caused health problems, including cancer.

Comment: That Impossible Foods is choosing to double down and side with the biotech companies on this issue shows who they really are. They don't care about the health of their consumers, nor the health of the environment, really. They're concern only goes as far as their bottom line, and they'll smear anyone who attempts to get in their way.

While it may be technically correct that no regulatory authority considers glyphosate carcinogenic, this is far from proof of its safety. That Impossible Foods seem completely in the dark about the sea change afoot in public perception of glyphosate could be their downfall.

The first three lawsuits have already ended in favor of the plaintiffs, leaving Bayer saddled with billions in damages. Zen Honeycutt, MAA's executive director, brought up a good point, which is who will end up responsible for glyphosate's toxic burden if the lawsuits leave Bayer bankrupt:9
"If Bayer goes bankrupt due to the outcome of about 14,000 lawsuits filed against them for the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate herbicides, who will become liable for harm to the public? I wonder if it will be retailers and food brands who continue to expose the public to toxic glyphosate herbicides."
What Is the Impossible Burger?

Impossible Foods creates meatless burgers that "bleed" like real meat, due to the addition of soy leghemoglobin, or heme. This, the company says, it what makes meat taste like meat and, in plants, leghemoglobin is the protein that carries heme, an iron-containing molecule.

Originally, Impossible Foods harvested leghemoglobin from the roots of soy plants, but deemed that method unsustainable. Instead, they turned to genetic engineering, which they use to create a yeast engineered with the gene for soy leghemoglobin.

"This process allows us to make heme at scale with the lowest achievable environmental impact," according to the company.10 The full ingredients list of their "new" recipe, which was released in January 2019, is as follows:11
Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% or less of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Soy Protein Isolate, Mixed Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Zinc Gluconate, Thiamine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1), Sodium Ascorbate (Vitamin C), Niacin, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B12. Contains: Soy

Comment: Now that sounds like a tasty "burger"! Certainly not a ultra-processed chemical nightmare. Certainly not.

You can find Impossible products in more than 5,000 restaurants in the U.S., Hong Kong, Macau and Singapore, in locations ranging from fine dining establishments to food trucks and theme parks.12 Even fast food outlets like Burger King and White Castle have jumped on the meatless fake burger bandwagon, with the former featuring the new Impossible Whopper that bills itself as "100% Whopper, 0% Beef."

Comment: At least one fast food joint refuses to fall in line. See: Bucking the trend: Arby's says it will NEVER add plant-based meat to its menu

The glaring issue with fake foods such as these is that they're claiming to be a healthier alternative to conventional burgers, but in fact are nothing more than highly processed pseudo-food - not the real food that so many Americans are after.

So How Much Glyphosate Is in Impossible Burgers?

MAA commissioned Health Research Institute Labs (HRI Labs), an independent laboratory that tests both micronutrients and toxins found in food, to determine how much glyphosate is in the Impossible Burger and its competitor, the Beyond Burger, which is made from a heavily processed concoction of ingredients like pea protein isolate, canola oil, gum Arabic, modified food starch and cellulose from bamboo.

Like the Impossible Burger, the Beyond Burger is a far cry from real food. The total result of glyphosate and AMPA, the main metabolite of glyphosate, in the burgers was 11.3 parts per billion (ppb) in the Impossible Burger and 1 ppb in the Beyond Burger.13

It's a lower level than has been found in some other foods, namely those containing oats. Glyphosate is used as a desiccant on many non-GMO crops, such as wheat, oats and barley, in order to dry them out quickly prior to harvest.

In some cases, non-GMO foods may be even more contaminated with glyphosate than GMO crops like soy, because they're being sprayed just weeks prior to being made into your cereal, bread, cookies and the like.

Tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) revealed the highest glyphosate level - 2,837 ppb - was found in Quaker Oatmeal Squares breakfast cereal,14 a level that makes Impossible Burger's glyphosate level seem good by comparison - but that's precisely the sad point.

Glyphosate has been so heavily used worldwide that it's being found everywhere, and companies are trying to pass off the fact that this herbicide is in their food as normal and somehow acceptable. No matter the amount, consumers are eating fake burgers that contain herbicide residues, and Impossible Foods wants you to believe that's just fine.

But consider this: Every time you eat something contaminated with glyphosate, it adds to your daily body burden for that chemical. Impossible Burger's 11 ppb will add to the possibly 2,837 ppb in your breakfast cereal, along with likely amounts in many other foods you eat on a daily basis. This can all add up to an increased risk of disease. EWG noted:15
"Our recommended maximum daily intake of glyphosate in food is 0.01 milligrams. For a 60-gram portion of food, this daily intake limit translates to a safety standard of 160 ppb of glyphosate. This health benchmark is based on the risks of lifetime exposure, because small, repeated exposures can add up if someone eats food containing glyphosate every day."
Replacing Animal Foods Isn't the Solution

After revealing the glyphosate residues in the Impossible Burger, MAA called upon consumers to ask the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to cancel the license for glyphosate in light of the increasing health risks. Impossible Foods responded:16
"Nothing is more important for human health, global food security and the future of the world than replacing the use of animals in food production. In fact, most of the agricultural pesticides used in the US are applied to crops fed to livestock. So no single step would do more to reduce pesticide exposure then eliminating the use of livestock in food production. That's our mission."
This again misses the point. It's clear that alternatives are needed to the concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) involved in producing most meat. Conservation group WWF told The Guardian that they had found that 60 percent of global biodiversity loss is due to meat-based diets straining resources.17,18

However, the solution isn't to remove animals from the system but rather to include them in accordance with the laws of nature. Rather than housing livestock separately from other animals and crops, livestock is integrated into a symbiotic, complementary system that mimics the way nature works.

Animals are, in fact, a very necessary part of a sustainable agriculture system. Allen Williams, Ph.D., a sixth-generation farmer and chief ranching officer for Joyce Farms, explained, "The way we do this at Joyce Farms is by mimicking the dense herds of grazing ruminants that used to roam across America, grazing and trampling plants into the soil. This trampling provides an armor of plant life for the soil and feeds the soil microbes."19

Meanwhile, on biodynamic farms, which use no genetic engineering or chemical pesticides, crops and livestock are integrated, animals are treated humanely, and all have access to the outdoors, free-range forage and plenty of space to move around. Further, at least 10 percent of farm acreage is set aside for biodiversity.20

Investors in Impossible Foods Are Far From Agricultural Gurus

Grass fed, regenerative and biodynamic farming is the direction the food supply needs to be moving for true sustainability - a point Impossible Foods is missing entirely. But why would we think otherwise?

The investors in alternative meat products are not exactly gurus in the sustainable agriculture scene - far from it. Take Memphis Meats, which is creating meat replacements grown in a lab via mass culturing stem cells from animals, often in a solution containing bovine serum, hormones, growth factors and other food additives.21

Agricultural giant Cargill Inc. and billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Gates are among those who have given millions to Memphis Meats. Other investors in Memphis Meats include General Electric CEO Jack Welch, venture capital firm DJF (which has also invested in Tesla, SpaceX and Skype) and billionaires Kimbal Musk (brother of tech billionaire Elon Musk) and Kyle Vogt (co-founder of a self-driving car startup).

Similarly, investors in Impossible Foods include Khosla Ventures, Bill Gates, Google Ventures, Horizons Ventures, UBS, Viking Global Investors, Temasek, Sailing Capital and Open Philanthropy Project (Dustin Moskovitz, a co-founder of Facebook, is one of their main funders22), along with a handful of celebrities and athletes.23

It seems the idea of putting patents on the food system is appealing to a number of billionaire investors, but does the idea of an elite few controlling the food system via patented lab-grown meat and GE meat alternatives sound appealing to you?

Fake Meat Is Highly Processed - See Through the Hype

Fake meat marketers would have you believe that the key to saving the environment and protecting animals is to embrace GE meat alternatives and lab-grown meat, but don't believe the hype. These products are not natural, nor are they superior to real food grown in accordance with nature.

As for sustainability, Friends of the Earth (FOE), a grassroots environmental group, noted that Impossible Foods is making confusing promotional claims, sustainability among them:24
"The Impossible Burger is marketed as 'sustainable,' ... despite the lack of data on energy consumption, emissions, or dependency on industrial feedstocks like genetically engineered corn used to feed the genetically engineered yeast that produce key ingredients."
There's also a lack of transparency regarding disclosure of processing aids used to make some alternative meat products, as they do not have to be listed on labels.25 These products are manufactured from start to finish and involve the use of man-made ingredients.

The complex mix of nutrients and cofactors that exist in real food cannot be recreated by an assembly of individual components. As a general rule, man-made foods are vastly inferior to natural, whole foods and always will be.

So, if you're looking for a healthy meal, and one that protects the environment at the same time, look for Demeter (biodynamic) and American Grassfed Association (AGA) certifications, which are both indicative of high-quality, sustainable and environmentally sound food.

Biotech Companies Are Gaining Power by Taking Over the Government

There is no doubt in my mind that GMOs and the toxic chemicals used along with them pose a serious threat to the environment and our health, yet government agencies turn a blind eye and refuse to act - and the reason is very clear: They are furthering the interests of the biotech giants.

It is well known that there is a revolving door between government agencies and biotech companies like Monsanto-now-Bayer. Consider the hypocrisy of the FDA. On paper, the U.S. may have the strictest food safety laws in the world governing new food additives, but this agency has repeatedly allowed GMOs and their accompanying pesticides and herbicides like Roundup to evade these laws.

In fact, the only legal basis for allowing GE foods to be marketed in the U.S. is the FDA's claim that these foods are inherently safe, a claim which is patently ridiculous. Documents released as a result of a lawsuit against the FDA reveal that the agency's own scientists warned their superiors about the detrimental risks of GE foods. But their warnings fell on deaf ears.

The influence of the biotech giants is not limited to the U.S. In a June 2017 article, GMWatch revealed that 26 of the 34 members of the National Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology of Argentina (CONABIA) are either employed by chemical technology companies or have major conflicts of interest.

You may be aware that Argentina is one of the countries where single-crop fields of GE cotton, corn and soy dominate the countryside. Argentina is also a country facing severe environmental destruction. Argentines are plagued with health issues, including degenerative diseases and physical deformities. It would appear that the rapid expansion of GE crops and the subsequent decline in national health indicators are intrinsically linked.

Don't Be Duped by Industry Shills!

Biotech companies' outrageous attempts to push for their corporate interests extend far beyond the halls of government. In a further effort to hoodwink the public, Monsanto/Bayer and their cohorts have been caught zealously spoon-feeding scientists, academics and journalists with questionable studies that depict them in a positive light.

By hiring "third-party experts," biotech companies are able to take information of dubious validity and present it as independent and authoritative. It's a shameful practice that is far more common than anyone would like to think. One notorious example of this is Henry Miller, who was thoroughly outed as a Monsanto shill during the 2012 Proposition 37 GMO labeling campaign in California.

Miller, falsely posing as a Stanford professor, promoted GE foods during this campaign. In 2015, he published a paper in Forbes Magazine attacking the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, after it classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. After it was revealed that Miller's work was in fact ghostwritten by Monsanto, Forbes not only fired him, but also removed all of his work from its site.

Industry front groups also abound. The Genetic Literacy Project and the American Council on Science and Health were both Monsanto-funded before Bayer bought Monsanto. Whether that funding continues under Bayer is left to be seen, but other "trusted" sources were also caught taking Monsanto money.

For example, WebMD, a website that is often presented as a trustworthy source of "independent and objective" health information, was exposed acting as a lackey for Monsanto by using its influence to promote corporate-backed health strategies and products, displaying advertisements and advertorials on Big Biotechs' behalf, furthering the biotech industry's agenda - all for the sake of profit.

But even with underhanded tactics to peddle their toxic products, biotechs are now unable to hide the truth: Genetic engineering will in no way, shape or form make the world a better place. It will not solve world hunger. It will not increase farmers' livelihoods. And it most certainly will not do any good for your health - and may in fact prove to be detrimental.

There's No Better Time to Act Than NOW - Here's What You Can Do

So now the question is: Will you continue supporting the corrupt, toxic and unsustainable food system that Big Biotech, Monsanto/Bayer and their industry shills and profit-hungry lackeys have painstakingly crafted? It is largely up to all of us, as consumers, to loosen and break their tight hold on our food supply. The good news is that the tide has turned.

As consumers worldwide become increasingly aware of the problems linked to GE crops and the toxic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides used on them, more and more people are proactively refusing to eat these foods. There's also strong growth in the global organic and grass fed sectors. This just proves one thing: We can make a difference if we steadily work toward the same goal.

One of the best things you can do is to buy your foods from a local farmer who runs a small business and uses diverse methods that promote regenerative agriculture. You can also join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, where you can buy a "share" of the vegetables produced by the farm, so you get a regular supply of fresh food. I believe that joining a CSA is a powerful investment not only in your own health, but in that of your local community and economy as well.

In addition, you should also adopt preventive strategies that can help reduce the toxic chemical pollution that assaults your body. I recommend visiting these trustworthy sites for non-GMO food resources in your country: Monsanto, Bayer and their allies want you to think that they control everything, but they do not. It's you, the masses, who hold the power in your hands. Let's all work together to topple the biotech industry's house of cards. Remember - it all starts with shopping smart and making the best food purchases for you and your family.

Sources and References