Gene mutation makes panda plant eater
The researchers think the panda first switched to eating bamboo because climate change had made their prey extinct. Subsequently, the gene for savoury flavours became less important and stopped functioning. The result was that the panda lost its taste for meat and did not pick up hunting again once prey became available again. Today giant pandas eat bamboo almost exclusively. They are eating continuously. They have to eat 20 kilos of bamboo a day to get enough nutrients from it.
With respect to their teeth and digestive system giant pandas can still be considered meat eaters. They still eat meat when it is offered to them in captivity.