New GMO Alert: Modern Kitchen

More synbio GMOs hitting the grocery store courtesy of Modern Kitchen

After years of development, products of synthetic biology (synbio) are now entering the marketplace. We first heard about Perfect Day’s synbio dairy proteins (made using genetically engineered microbes) when they were introduced in Brave Robot ice cream. However, ice cream was just the beginning. A range of new products created using synbio are poised to enter the marketplace at an increasing pace.

The Urgent Company has released a second new product made with Perfect Day animal-free dairy proteins: a cream cheese spread. The spread is being marketed under the brand name Modern Kitchen.  Similar to the Urgent Company’s Brave Robot ice cream, which was launched in 2020, Modern Kitchen cream cheese spread uses Perfect Day’s synbio proteins, this time labeled on the ingredient panel as “non-animal whey proteins.”

The spread was launched on the Modern Kitchen website and made available in three flavors: spring onion and chive, strawberry, and harissa pepper. In addition to the synbio-produced whey protein, the ingredient list also includes potato starch, potato protein, and cornstarch. All three are derivatives of crops included on the Non-GMO Project’s high-risk list for their potential to be sourced from GMOs. In addition, the strawberry flavor includes sugar, possibly sourced from GM sugar beet, another high-risk crop.

Several of these ingredients are listed as being “non-GMO,” but we often see self-made non-GMO claims on products that the Non-GMO Project considers to be GMOs. It is also interesting to note that the product label states that the spread is “Made from Plants and Flora.” The Urgent Company chose the word “flora” to represent the genetically engineered microbes because it believes that the term is more “consumer friendly.”

In addition to the website launch, the spread also made its East Coast debut at the first annual Brooklyn Bagelfest in October, an event sponsored by both Perfect Day and Modern Kitchen. Modern Kitchen plans to follow up its website launch with a limited retail store debut in Southern California in the coming months.

Perfect Day recently raised $350 million in Series D funding, bringing its total funding to $750 million.

 

The Non-GMO Project’s Standard defines all crops and products developed using biotechnology, including new gene-editing techniques, as GMOs. We share this information to further one of the Project’s primary goals of creating greater transparency in the supply chain, ensuring you have the information you need to make the best choices for you, your brand, and your family. 

Please note that the information herein is for general informational purposes only and is based on the linked sources above.