Raw Egg Nationalist (REN) shined a light on this issue in a Feb. 17 piece for the National Pulse, citing a Bloomberg story about it. The Feb. 7 piece by Bloomberg's contributing writer Joe Fassler explained why fake meat companies use immortalized cell lines for their products.
"Normal meat cells don't just keep dividing forever. To get the cell cultures to grow at rates big enough to power a business, several companies … are quietly using what are called immortalized cells, something most people have never eaten intentionally," Fassler wrote.
While immortalized cell lines "are a staple of medical research," Fassler noted that these are technically pre-cancerous and can be fully cancerous at times.
"The problem is that the materials used to make the product – 'immortalized cell lines' – replicate forever, just like cancer. Which means, in effect, that they are cancer. Industry types are 'confident' that eating such products poses no risk. But it's not difficult to see, even if the products are 'proven' safe, how people might be put off by the thought that they're eating a glorified tumor."
According to REN, the dangers of fake meat made using immortalized cell lines come from the fact that long-term safety data for its consumption are not yet available. Fassler pointed out that immortalized cells in these products can multiply indefinitely if placed under the right conditions.
"This brings with it safety, but also image concerns," he wrote.
To back up Fassler's point, REN cited an instance where New York City Mayor Eric Adams – a vegan – attended a VIP event sponsored by cultured salmon manufacturer Wildtype. While several attendees enjoyed tasting the cultured salmon, Adams excused himself and left the event without taking a single bite of the fake fish.
Aside from immortal cells in lab-grown meat being possible carcinogens, ingredients in these products that are meant to mimic the taste and texture of the real thing can also cause health issues. Children's Health Defense (CHD) reported on the issue in September 2022, zooming in on the fake meat products from the California-based Impossible Foods.
The health freedom group cited a study conducted by the company involving rats fed with the Impossible Burger. The research was done under the assumption that fake meat products would have minimal impacts, if none at all. But the study's findings came out differently. (Related: GMO ingredients in "fake meat" Impossible Burgers linked to health issues.)
The study found that soy leghemoglobin (SLH) caused "inexplicable alterations within rat biology." Rats fed SLH experienced unexplained weight gain and changes in blood indicating the onset of inflammation or kidney disease and possible signs of anemia. SLH, which is derived from genetically modified (GM) yeast, is responsible for giving the Impossible Burger its meaty taste and making it bleed like animal meat when cut.
Another ingredient in Impossible Burger that caused health issues is herbicide-tolerant soy protein (HTSP). Impossible Foods introduced HTSP to the burger recipe in 2019 to improve the product's texture and avoid gluten, the wheat protein that some people are unable to tolerate. As a result, fake meat burgers can contain residues of the herbicide glyphosate sprayed on soybeans – which are then processed into HTSP.
Tests commissioned by the advocacy group Moms Across America confirmed this finding. Based on tests performed at the Iowa-based Health Research Institute Laboratories, Impossible Burgers had glyphosate levels of 11.3 parts per billion. This was 11 times higher than the glyphosate detected on the Beyond Meat Burger, which used plant-based ingredients that did not undergo genetic modification.
FakeMeat.news has more stories about the dangerous ingredients in lab-grown meats.
Watch this Newsmax report about the Food and Drug Administration approving the first lab-grown meat product.
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