The National Pork Producers Council says Impossible Foods’ Impossible pork is just that – impossible. Dr. Dan Kovich, director of science and technology for NPPC, says products such as the impossible pork just announced this year cannot be labeled as pork, because the products are not derived from a pig.
“It is actually impossible for something that does not come from a pig to be called pork,” said Dr. Kovich. “Pork comes from a pig, end of story. You can’t make pork from soybeans unless you feed them to a pig first. So, we want to be very clear, for that company to call their plant-based products pork is inappropriate.”
Inappropriate, and against the law.
“Certainly, the USDA and several sections of law defines pork very clearly as to what it is,” said Kovich. “FDA labeling law also says you can’t portray one food product as another. So, the product, despite any claims they may make about how it may appear to look like pork, or taste like pork, that does not make it pork. So, they need to come up with a different name for their product.”
NPPC supports consumer choice and competitive markets on a level playing field. Accordingly, Kovich says plant-based and cell-cultured products designed to mimic real meat must face the same stringent regulatory requirements as livestock agriculture, including truthful labeling standards.
“We’re certainly looking at potential avenues to make sure that the term pork is protected,” he said. “There’s a history of people using names commonly used for animal products for imitation products. And again, when it comes to the word pork, that is a very highly specific term which has a very clear meaning. And something made from plants, is not pork.”