March 22, 2018

CSPI Says FDA Should Protect Consumers from Quorn

Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has released a statement from its Executive Director Michael F. Jacobson asking the FDA to protect consumers against the fungus-based meat substitute “Quorn”. Before it was turned into food for consumers, it had never been used for human food.

FDAThe fungus is grown in large vats. Since its introduction, CSPI has collected more than 2,000 adverse reaction reports from consumers who have eaten it. The company that produces Quorn has tested the product; their studies indicate that almost 5% of test eaters became ill after eating the protein. CSPI wants the FDA to pull the product off store shelves.

Some of the adverse reactions after eating Quorn include nausea, cramps, diarrhea, and anaphylactic shock, which is characterized by swelling of the fact and throat, hives, and trouble breathing. Two deaths, one in California and the other in Sweden “appear to have been caused by the meat substitute” according to the press release. Some people react the first time they eat this product, while others build up a sensitivity to it over time.

Marlow Foods, the manufacturer of Quorn say that the fungus is related to mushrooms, truffles, or morels. But while all mushrooms are fungi, not all fungi are edible. The mycoprotein in Quorn comes from the fungus Fusarium venenatum.

While CSPI is calling for a ban on the product, others think that at the very least, a warning label should be placed on all products containing Quorn to warn consumers against possible allergic reactions. The label on the package label states that the Quorn burger contains 35% mycoprotein, textured wheat protein, and other ingredients such as sodium alginate and a barley malt extract.


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