Fungi Perfecti® Publishes an Open Letter in Response to Nammex Citizen Petition

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The makers of Host Defense® Mushrooms™, Fungi Perfecti, LLC, along with M2 Ingredients Inc., Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc., and Monterey Mushrooms Inc. have jointly written an open letter in a show of unity to emphasize the importance of conveying scientifically accurate information to the public, to FDA, and to other thought leaders in the field. This joint letter comes in response to the puzzling opinion presented in the recent FDA Citizen Petition filed by Nammex, which obfuscates and misrepresents the use of well-established mycological definitions that impact responsible consumer messaging about mushroom products.

Specifically of concern, the Citizen Petition advocates to eliminate use of the word “mushroom” for products using mushroom mycelium. This is both confusing and concerning as the collective industry use of “mushroom mycelium” is scientifically accurate, just as the use of “mushroom spores”, “mushroom fruit bodies” are descriptively accurate. The word “mushroom” describes the organism as a whole, whereas terms like “mycelium” and “fruit body” refer to distinct parts of the mushroom organism.  

This is perfectly parallel to saying “plant roots”, “plant seeds/spores”, and “plant flowers”. Both sets of terminologies describe the parts of the organism. To propose the elimination of the word “mushroom” results in confusion and misdirection. The Mushroom Life Cycle diagram, as it appears in The Mushroom Cultivator, co-authored by Paul Stamets and Jeff Chilton, depicts clearly-named and scientifically accurate stages of the mushroom life cycle.
The Mushroom Life Cycle
As part of his response to the Citizen Petition released by Nammex, Paul Stamets, Member, Founder and Chief Science Officer at Fungi Perfecti, said:
As mycologists, scientists, and industry experts, we are concerned by the public confusion being created and spread by this Citizen Petition about widely-accepted and settled terminology, and are moved to collectively write this open letter in response so that industry policies will be grounded in scientific accuracy. This is critical for clear and sound regulations. We advocate for truth and scientific accuracy in labeling. In our opinion, the proposals being advocated by Nammex in their Citizen Petition do neither.


Fungi Perfecti® - makers of Host Defense® Mushrooms™ - is a family-owned company specializing in mushroom mycelium-based supplements and drink mixes. Founded by Paul Stamets with the goal of building the bridge between people and fungi, Fungi Perfecti has become synonymous with cutting-edge mycological research and innovative mycological solutions in everything from water filtration (mycofiltration) and ecological rehabilitation (mycoremediation), to using beneficial mushrooms to combat Colony Collapse Disorder in bee populations and to support human health through their Host Defense  Mushrooms supplements line.* Their sustainability efforts are a natural extension of their continued mission to explore, study, preserve, and spread knowledge about the use of fungi for helping people and planet.* Fungi Perfecti is a Certified B Corporation and is third-party designated as Climate Positive, offsetting 110% of their carbon emissions. Follow them on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 


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