The meal replacement drink doesn't replace meals enough, rules the country's top food agency.
Disaster struck the Canadian liquid food-substitute community today as the country banned Soylent, the product of a much-hyped Silicon Valley startup named after its lentil and soy base, as well as a dystopian sci-fi novel about overpopulation.
As announced on Soylent's blog by company founder and CEO Rob Rhinehart today, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) "recently informed us that our products do not meet a select few of the CFIA requirements for a 'meal replacement,'" which "means we are unable to ship any additional product to our Canadian warehouses or sell Soylent to our Canadian customers until this is resolved."
"Although we feel strongly that these requirements do not reflect the current understanding of human nutritional needs," continues Rhinehart, who once published a manifesto claiming that constantly ordering new, custom-made clothes from China is somehow more energy efficient than washing old ones, "we respect the CFIA’s regulations and will fully comply with any regulatory action they deem appropriate."
According to accompanying FAQ, Soylent has been aware of the CFIA's decision since early October, and "immediately worked with Canadian regulators to find a way to continue distributing Soylent in Canada," to no avail. "We understand that our products have become essential in many customers’ lives," Rhinehart says, and if you're one of them, you can at least rest easy when it comes to health.
"This issue emerged from regulatory compliance, not product quality," the FAQ answers in response to the question "is there something wrong with the Soylent I’ve been drinking?" Meaning that aside from losing access to your favorite meal substitute drink, you should be okay.
Though on the other hand, this is not the first health-based barrier for Soylent, whose quest to replace food has been stymied by a series of recalls for reasons including unintended dairy, moldy bottles, and an ingredient that gave some customers "uncontrollable" diarrhea, a recently forced change in labeling to comply with California law. Perhaps Canadian Soylent drinkers should give food another try.