Canada Says Field Roast's Fake Meat Must Be Tested on Animals
You read the headline right. In a weird twist of irony, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has forced Field Roast Grain Meat company to cease distribution of its vegan products because they haven’t been tested on animals.
According to its CEO, David Lee, a complaint was made to the CFIA against the Washington vegan company by a competitor regarding his labelling. Field Roast labels its products with “vegetarian grain meat” rather than “simulated meat,” which isn’t in compliance with Canadian law.
Canada thinks Field Grain’s meat is, in fact, “simulated meat,” and therefore, the products must adhere with a certain protein ratio before they can be sold to the public. In short: they basically have to have a Protein Efficiency Ratio comparable to actual animal meat.
“Their ruling is that if you make a simulated meat, which they decided that we do, that then we need to also mimic the nutritional profile of an animal meat product,” Lee told CBC News.
Field Roast gets its protein from wheat gluten, and the problem is CFIA has no established protein value associated with wheat gluten.
So, in order to sell its products in Canada, Field Roast would have to conduct its own testing outlined by the CFIA, which includes testing on live rats.
“We’re driven to make these foods because we feel very strongly about having compassion for animals,” Lee said. “Fundamentally, we’re against that.”
That’s not all. The CFIA also wants the company to add chemical supplements and vitamins to its product to fortify them, which Lee finds “offensive.”
To be clear, Canada hasn’t recalled Field Roast products (they can remain on shelves until inventory runs out), so they’re still safe to eat. So what gives, CFIA? Why must rats be harmed if the company’s food is still okay to eat?
Lee has applied to the Canadian Food Directorate for an exemption, so he can continue distributing the products in Canada without labelling them as simulated meat.