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Iowa Pork Industry Considers Possible Threat From Lab-Grown ‘Impossible Pork’

Las Vegas, Nevada — A plant-based product called Impossible Pork debuted at a trade show in Las Vegas this week, and officials with the Iowa Pork Producers Association are considering any potential threats.

Just as the dairy industry has targeted soy milk products with legal action for using the word “milk,” Pork Producers consumer information director Joyce Hoppes says Impossible Pork could face a similar fate.

Iowa is the nation’s leading pork producer and the industry contributes seven-point-five billion dollars to the state’s economy each year. Hoppes says the association wants to make certain hog farmers — and their products — are treated fairly in the marketplace.

An Impossible Whopper appeared on Burger King menus nationwide last year, a similar plant-based beef substitute. Other fast food chains have since followed suit by offering non-meat burgers, and B-K is now testing an Impossible Pork sausage. It’s likely only a matter of time, Hoppes says, before Iowans are offered more vegetarian pork-substitutes in restaurants and grocery stores.

Some consumers will sample the lab-grown cuisine, while others will avoid these products, referring to them as Frankenfoods. While they’re billed as completely safe, Hoppes says she has some concern for the health of consumers who eat Impossible Pork.

Reports say the primary protein in Impossible pork is soy. Coincidentally, Iowa is also the nation’s top soybean producer.

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