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Second call for comment on soy leghemoglobin permission

​Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) today released a second call for public comment on an application to permit soy leghemoglobin from a genetically modified strain of yeast for use in meat analogue (or meat substitute) products.

FSANZ Chief Executive Officer Mark Booth said this second round of consultation is seeking comment to allow soy leghemoglobin as a substance used for nutritive purposes and food produced using gene technology in the Food Standards Code.

“We received 44 submissions in response to our first call for comment in December 2019 which sought views about at the safety and potential regulation of soy leghemoglobin.

”We also undertook targeted consultation with Australian and New Zealand jurisdictions to discuss any potential regulatory concerns.

“Feedback from stakeholders did not raise any new evidence of concerns regarding public health and safety. On this basis we have re-affirmed that there are no public health and safety concerns associated with the proposed use of soy leghemoglobin, in the form of LegH Prep.​

Why is soy leghemoglobin?

Soy leghemoglobin is a protein naturally present in the roots of soybean plants that is not currently consumed in the diets of Australians and New Zealanders.

It is intended to be used as a source of iron in meat analogue products (i.e. meat substitutes), similar to that found in meat. It may also provide flavour and aroma that is similar to meat.

The applicant, Impossible Foods, produced soy leghemoglobin in the form of LegH Prep by fermentation of a genetically modified yeast.

Impossible Foods intends to use soy leghemoglobin in its Impossible plant-based products to be sold in Australia and New Zealand, including burgers, meatballs, sausage, or as fillings in buns and dumplings.

​ The proposed permissions will also support greater international consistency, as soy leghemoglobin is permitted for use in meat analogue products in overseas markets.

Have your say

Interested parties are invited to have their say on the application by 6pm Canberra Time 17 September 2020.

All FSANZ decisions on applications are notified to ministers responsible for food regulation who can ask for a review or agree that the standard should become law.

Last updated: 6 August 2020


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