PO Box 13402
Wellington, New Zealand

GE-Free New Zealand

in food and environment (RAGE Inc.)

Countdown Customers Warned About GMO 'Impossible' Burger 15/03/2022

Customers at Countdown supermarkets and other retail outlets are being advised to be aware of Genetically Engineered ingredients in the USA-made 'Impossible' burger.

Shoppers should be alerted by a warning label on the 'Impossible' burger to reveal the novel GMO ingredients, and be aware of side-effects reported overseas by people who have eaten the product.

The product is highly processed and understood to use Genetically Engineered soy that is intensively produced and linked to increased use of Glyphosate (the active ingredient in RoundUp).

The 'Impossible' product is quite different to those of New Zealand manufacturers such as Sunfed and other brands of sustainable and ethical meat alternatives that use organic, sustainably produced or non-GMO ingredients.

Countdown supermarkets are the latest retail outlets to buy into the promotion by The Impossible Foods Company which is spending thousands of dollars to promote its imitation GM meat.

The imitation patties contain a range of GM ingredients. [1] The most controversial is soy leghemoglobin “blood” manufactured from GMO yeast, which comes along with 46 contaminating yeast proteins, all of which are new to the food supply and never before consumed by humans.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) have relied on the industry’s evaluation of their tests, which was limited to two short term rat feeding studies, of 14 days and 28 days. An independent analysis of these feeding studies by molecular geneticist Michael Antoniou, (PhD) and Claire Robinson (MPhil), found unexplained changes in weight gain and signs of potential toxicity in the 28-day rodent study. [2]

Reports overseas from consumers' adverse effects related to stomach and digestive problems after eating the impossible burger, have been recorded. It is important for New Zealand customers to be aware of and report these unexpected problems. [3]

New Zealand has been serving non-GM foods for vegetarian and vegan for many years. [4]

“There are already safer, delicious New Zealand vegetarian and vegan alternatives that do not use untested GE sourced ingredients in their products,” said Claire Bleakley, GE Free NZ president.

FSANZ ignored concerns that ingredients new to human food should be independently safety tested. They are now in consultation with the public to further exempt certain GE ingredients.[5]

Consumers may think they are being healthy or supporting ethical and sustainable production, but highly processed GE soy-based ingredients are often heavily sprayed with pesticide. [6]


[1] https://faq.impossiblefoods.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018937494-What-are-the-ingredients-in-Impossible-Burger-
[3] Reports from consumers in the USA also raise safety concerns because of some experiences of unpleasant digestive reactions like nausea, diarrhea, bloating, and large releases of intestinal gas. https://www.reddit.com/r/vegetarian/comments/8jfdhw/has_anyone_else_gotten_stomach_pain_after_eating/
[4] https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/300172662/supermarket-sleuth-five-of-the-best-vegetarian-burgers-for-summer-barbecuing
[5] https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/media/Pages/FSANZ-calls-for-comment-on-changing-the-definitions-for-genetically-modified-food.aspx
[6] https://eluxemagazine.com/culture/articles/why-ill-never-eat-an-impossible-burger/
Jon Carapiet – Spokesman 0210507681
Claire Bleakley – President -027 348 6731