Soylent, the meal replacement drink/powder that frees people from the pesky task of eating so they can “use less, do more,” has recalled its Soylent 1.8 powder over the potential presence of dairy. Soylent 1.8 is specifically listed on the company’s website as “lactose-free.” Whoops.
The company said in a statement on the FDA website that it is voluntarily recalling 890 boxes of Soylent 1.8 powder after it came to Soylent’s attention that a small amount of dairy, in the form of whey powder, may have been incorporated into one production lot during manufacture at a third-party facility. It’s offering a full refund or replacement to customers who have purchased one (or more) of these particular boxes.
Soylent has struggled to build credibility with consumers, and today’s recall of the potentially milky Soylent 1.8 is yet another strike. In 2016, the original Soylent powder started making people sick. It didn’t help when Soylent Bars were also found to make some people sick. Soylent halted production on both products.
For the most part, Soylent explains the potential whey contamination by passing the buck to a third-party manufacturer:
This voluntary recall is immediately being initiated after it was discovered that the milk-containing product was handled adjacent to the production lines for Soylent 1.8 powder. Subsequent investigation indicated that the potential cross-contact was caused by a temporary breakdown in our 3rd party manufacturer’s production and packaging processes.
Let’s be honest… a food replacement startup that launches with the name Soylent — a reference to the 1973 film Soylent Green, in which food supplement is made from human remains — doesn’t scream “safety first.”
Still, the company has raised $22.4 million in funding from a list of noteworthy investors, including Andreessen Horowitz.
We reached out to Soylent and will update if/when we hear back.