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Fact-checking site Snopes has debunked the claim that plant-based meats are ‘indistinguishable’ from dog food. 

The false statements come from University Professor Frank Nitloehner. Last year, he tweeted the ingredient list of three food items.

The first was from Impossible Foods, the other a Beyond Meat burger, and lastly ‘premium dog food’. 

Nitloehner then argued the meat-free patties were ‘indistinguishable from dog food’. 

The comparison

However, Snopes compared the ingredients – taking ‘some chemical liberties and ignoring entirely the relative amounts of each’. 

It found most of the shared ingredients are vitamins and minerals. This includes ingredients such as salt, Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), and Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6). 

‘Mostly false’

Snopes concluded: “In sum, there are shared chemicals in vegan dog food and plant-based burgers. 

“In our view, two shared ingredients out of a combined 46 (in the case of Beyond Meat) or 10 shared ingredients out of a combined 48 (in the case of the Impossible Burger) do not meet the threshold for being ‘indistinguishable’. As such we rank the claim mostly false.”

Snopes also questioned what ‘scientific point’ Nitloehner’s comparison served. 

“One could make a similar argument that the ingredients in high-quality, organic beef dog food are ‘nearly indistinguishable’ from canned beef chili served in the supermarket,” it wrote. “But such a comparison wouldn’t be all that illustrative.”

You can read the full report here

Liam Giliver

Liam is the former Deputy Editor of Plant Based News. He has written for The Independent, Huffington Post, Attitude Magazine, and more. He is also the author of 'We're Worried About Him'.