Quorn has grown into one of the more recognizable meatless meat products today. The company calls their protein source "mycoprotein," which many people associate with mushrooms. Today, however, Quorn will begin labeling their products to clarify exactly where their mycoprotein comes from.
Photo courtesy of the Center for Science in the Public Interest
Quorn is relabeling their products due to a lawsuit that revealed some major allergenic concerns with them. The issue at hand is that they use a specific mold as the source of their mycoprotein, and while rare, the mold can illicit allergic reactions. The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) recorded over 2,500 complaints about these adverse reactions since the early 2000s. Two deaths, one in California and one in Sweden, have also been linked to mycoprotein.
While Quorn called their product "mycoprotein," the fungus or mold that the protein came from never really got specified. As a result, a class action lawsuit got filed about a year ago asking the company to change its labels to indicate that mold is their protein source. Additionally, the suit asked for payments to anyone who purchased products from the company between January 26, 2012 and December 24, 2016. The repayments are for those who bought the mycoprotein without knowing it came from a potentially allergenic mold.
Quorn and the plaintiffs have since filed multiple settlements, but CSPI announced that they would challenge settlements that didn't include warning label requirements. Once that was worked into the agreement, CSPI withdrew objections to the settlement.
Photo courtesy of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The new deal includes the above new warning label, which states that the company's mycoprotein comes from mold. It also states that allergic reactions can arise from consuming Quorn products. Furthermore, legal payments and repayments to anyone who purchased the mycoprotein in the aforementioned timespan are also included in the deal. A base fund of $2.5 million will be set up to account for the potential $120 million in repayments Quorn may have to give out.
Because of the lawsuit, we now know where Quorn's protein truly comes from, and can be more aware about allergenic concerns.