NPPC Raises Concern Over Labeling of Artificial Pork

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Farmscape for January 14, 2020

Full Interview 7:34 Listen

The National Pork Producers Council is raising concern over the potential confusion the naming convention being used by Impossible Foods for its plant based products designed to mimic real pork is likely to cause. Impossible Foods has launched a line of plant based artificial pork products which are being marketed as Impossible Pork or Impossible Sausage. NPPC Director of Science and Technology Dr. Dan Kovich considers the use of the word pork to describe a plant based product as a brazen attempt to circumvent decades of food labelling law and centuries of precedence stressing, what is impossible is for something that does not come from a pig to be called pork.

Clip-Dr. Dan KovichNational Pork Producers Council:
I think obviously if someone is calling something a pork product people are going to assume that it comes from a pig so using that term, pork, on something that does not come from a pig could obviously create consumer confusion.
Now I’m sure with other things, statements on the label, maybe, maybe not the company can make it clear it doesn’t come from a pig. But I think that there is a deeper issue that we need to consider too. It’s not necessarily that consumers are going to be confused about what the product is but I think there are implications with using the name that nutritionally the products are the same. Again, this is a very different product in terms of its ingredients, its makeup. For example it’s got a lot more salt in it than pork does. It is not nutritionally equivalent to ground pork and I think that’s an important piece that people need to understand. Even though they may think the flavor profile is similar, the texture is similar, the nutrition is not the same and, I think again, clearly they’re trying to imply that it is by misusing a product name for something their product is not.

Dr. Kovich suggests those are the two major areas that labelling laws are supposed to provide clarity on and a misuse of them is not doing anyone a service.

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