Burger scorecard
Alternative Proteins My take on it all

Plant-based vs conventional burger scorecard

An extremely interesting article comparing the flavour and other attributes of plantbased vs conventional burger products was published recently. Except for one very disappointing set of comments downgrading the Impossible Foods product!

Those comments downgrade the  product because it uses GMO ingredients! In the report card section “A Note on GMOs” we have comments like “the generally perceived risk of GMOs” and that GMO crops can “result in adverse effects on non-target organisms like butterflies”. Really? Without any references to such claims I can only assume the butterfly claim relates to a 1999 Monarch butterfly study. However, a review quoting 6 papers from 2001 concludes that “although monitoring should continue, any risks from Bt corn to the monarch butterfly were relatively minor.” A 2019 study showed Monarch numbers had been declining since around 1950. Herbicide resistant GMO crops were introduced in 1996.

The article contains several other unreferenced claims about GMOs which spoils an otherwise very interesting review.

Bluntly I can find no credible scientific evidence that GMO products cause any harm to humans. The associated consequences of using things like herbicides are another matter.

We’re highly likely to need genetic modification of microbes, plants and even animals if we’re to feed 10 bn people by 2050. So let’s get the conversation out there, for all our sakes!

Oh, without the downgrade, Impossible would have been number 1.

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