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After cornering GMO crop market with Monsanto takeover, Bayer turns its eyes to imitation ‘meat’

After cornering GMO crop market with Monsanto takeover, Bayer turns its eyes to imitation ‘meat’
German drugs maker Bayer is closely watching the plant-based meat market which has seen booming demand in recent years. The company says it could potentially enter the market as a provider of an alternative protein source.

According to Bob Reiter, Bayer’s head of research and development at its crop science division, plant-based meat companies “are sourcing different types of crops and that also could create opportunity for us, being a company that is a plant-breeding company.”

Reiter said that in order for plant-based companies to produce at scale and to succeed, some efficient sources of amino acids and carbohydrates are required. That could bring them around to row crops that can be tilled and cultivated by machinery.

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“We’re not going to scale peas to get to 10% of the alternative meat market,” Reiter said.

Meat-producing companies are massively cashing in on a trend of meat alternatives, selling sausages, burgers and imitation ground beef largely made from pea protein or soy.

According to analysts from research group Mintel, there are no signs of the meat alternatives market slowing, with nearly 40 percent of consumers trying to add more plant-based protein to their diet.

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The world’s largest seed and pesticides company by sales, Bayer has been strongly criticized over tapping into the genetically modified foods’ market, after it acquired US agrochemical giant Monsanto.

Bayer is facing mounting lawsuits over Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, but insists the herbicide’s active ingredient glyphosate is safe.

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