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Soylent partner cuts supply after shouldering blame for recall

TerraVia isn't happy that it got thrown under the bus.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
December 20, 2016
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Soylent supplier TerraVia really, really doesn't appreciate being blamed for making people sick. The nutrition company has suspended its ingredient supply out of a "high level of concern" that Soylent is perpetuating a "pattern of behavior" that hurts TerraVia's bottom line. Supposedly, Soylent didn't do enough research into gastrointestinal problems before blaming TerraVia's algal flour and removing it for the recently released Powder 1.7 meal. The food alternative firm didn't offer any evidence, TerraVia says, citing an industry expert who doubts that the flour (or any one ingredient) is the obvious cause.

The flour meets FDA regulations, TerraVia adds. It has been used in "more than 20 million servings" without proof of adverse effects.

Soylent isn't exactly ruffled by the move. It tells us that the cutoff will have "no impact," since Powder is already algal flour-free and will eventually be joined by a reformulated Bar. It already has algae-free versions of its drinks to be on the safe side, too. The company didn't address TerraVia's specific allegations in its statement (available below), but it might not have to -- as far as it's concerned, business continues as usual.

"This will have no impact on our business. We have already re-released Powder (v 1.7) without algal flour and halted shipments of Bar until it is reformulated. Although our ready to drink line does not contain the ingredients of concern, we have already developed versions without algae out of an abundance of caution. Customers will continue to receive Powder, Drink and Coffiest without delay."

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