Maker of Yummy Vat-Grown Fungus Sued Over "Dangerous Reactions"

The food-safety watchdogs at the Center for Science in the Public Interest report that an Arizona woman is suing the makers of Quorn, a meat substitute made from vat-grown fungus. According to the CPSI, the company does not disclose “the fact that some people have serious allergic reactions to the main ingredient in its Quorn line of meat substitutes.” The lead plaintiff in the class-action suit, Kathy Cardinale, says that she became violently ill when eating Quorn’s Chik’n Patties. “I felt like the soles of my feet were going to come out of my mouth, I was vomiting so hard,” she said.

The CSPI says that it has received reports from more than a thousand people that “they have suffered adverse reactions, including nausea, violent vomiting, uncontrollable diarrhea, and even life-threatening anaphylactic reactions after eating the patties, cutlets, tenders and other products made with Quorn’s fungus.”

David Wilson, managing director of Quorn, discounts the claims and says the lawsuit is frivolous. “Quorn has been in the U.S. market since 2002 and has been enjoyed by millions of Americans. We have developed our labeling with the Food and Drug Administration and it is accurate and fair,” Wilson told the Los Angeles Times. The fungus that Quorn is made from was discovered in the U.K. in the 1960s.

“In the 1960s, people were concerned that we would run out of protein and started a search for new protein sources that could feed the world and discovered this fungus that grows naturally in soil,” said Wilson. “It makes a delicious and nutritious meat alternative.”

We can’t comment on the CSPI’s claims, but we would like to point out that the world actually hasn’t run out of protein. Also — and we know we may be going out on a limb here — there may just be some more appetizing alternatives out there to vat-grown fungus.

Makers of Quorn, the Chicken-Flavored Fungus, Sued for Not Disclosing Dangerous Reactions [CPSI]
Lawsuits target chicken and its veggie substitutes [LA Times]

(Photo: Stacy Greene, CPSI)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.