Pork industry says new plant-based Impossible Pork violates law

Impossible CEO says company won’t stop until the need for animals in food chain is eliminated.

Krissa Welshans, Livestock Editor

January 7, 2020

1 Min Read
Impossible croissanwich.jpg
Impossible Foods/ Burger King

Impossible Foods launched two new products — Impossible Pork and Impossible Sausage — this week, but the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) said naming the plant-based products designed to mimic real pork is “a brazen violation” of labeling law.

Citing law that prohibits the use of words that redefine pork as it has been known by consumers for centuries, Dr. Dan Kovich, director of science and technology for NPPC, offered criticism on the new plant-based imitation product.

"What's impossible is to make pork from plants. This is a brazen attempt to circumvent decades of food labeling law and centuries of precedence. Any adjective placed in front of the word 'pork' can only refine it, not redefine it. It's not pork. It's not pork sausage. It can't be labeled as such," Kovich said in a statement.

NPPC said it supports consumer choice and competitive markets on a level playing field, adding, “Accordingly, plant-based and cell-cultured products designed to mimic real meat must face the same stringent regulatory requirements as livestock agriculture, including truthful labelling standards.”

Impossible Sausage will debut in late January exclusively at 139 Burger King restaurants in five test regions: Savannah, Ga.; Lansing, Mich.; Springfield, Ill.; Albuquerque, N.M., and Montgomery, Ala.

“Impossible Foods cracked meat’s molecular code -- starting with ground beef, which is intrinsic to the American market. Now, we’re accelerating the expansion of our product portfolio to more of the world’s favorite foods,” Impossible Foods chief executive officer and founder Dr. Patrick Brown said. “We won’t stop until we eliminate the need for animals in the food chain and make the global food system sustainable."

About the Author(s)

Krissa Welshans

Livestock Editor

Krissa Welshans grew up on a crop farm and cow-calf operation in Marlette, Michigan. Welshans earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Michigan State University and master’s degree in public policy from New England College. She and her husband Brock run a show cattle operation in Henrietta, Texas, where they reside with their son, Wynn.

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