Marlow Foods, the award-winning exporter, is considering legal action after its meat-free brand Quorn was again the target of a “ridiculous” campaign by a US food watchdog.
MD Nick Hughes said he would vigorously defend the safety of Quorn after The Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) filed a suit in a US court alleging it can cause allergic reactions. The CSPI has led an aggressive campaign against Quorn since it entered the US market in 2002, complaining to various bodies, including Trading Standards, and placing ads in British newspapers asking complainants to come forward.
Hughes said claims about adverse reactions to Britain’s biggest-selling meat substitute had already been investigated and dismissed by bodies including the Food Standards Agency. “Quorn is one of the best tolerated and safest protein-based products on-shelf,” he said. “The CSPI is looking to sell its newsletter and needs the oxygen of publicity, so it has targeted a whole range of companies and brands.”
He claimed the CSPI continued to ignore the evidence of experts with its calls for labels on Quorn products warning that its mycoprotein ingredient, a member of the fungi family, can cause reactions.
Quorn has performed well in the US, which it entered at a time when the US meat-free sector was under developed. Marlow Foods was named Food from Britain Food and Drink Exporter of the Year in 2004.