What you need to know:
- Singapore was the first country to allow the sale of cultured meat
- The Good Food Institute (GFI) estimates that there are over 150 cultured meat businesses worldwide
The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved lab-grown meat for human consumption after determining that a beef product made from animal cells is safe.
After the US Department of Agriculture inspects Upside Foods’ facilities, the California-based business will be permitted to start selling its meat made from cultured chicken cells.
“Advancements in cell culture technology are enabling food developers to use animal cells obtained from livestock, poultry and seafood in the production of food, with these products expected to be ready for the US market in the near future,” Dr Robert Califf, FDA’s commissioner said in a statement.
Singapore was the first country to allow the sale of cultured meat. It granted San Francisco start-up Eat Just Inc regulatory approval in 2020 to sell its laboratory-grown chicken in Singapore.
The Good Food Institute (GFI) estimates that there are over 150 cultured meat businesses worldwide. Advocates hope that cultured meat will reduce the need to slaughter animals for food and help with the climate crisis. Global food production is responsible for a third of all planet-heating gases emitted by human activity. Raising animals for meat is responsible for the majority of this share. Pasture and crop land occupy around 50 per cent of the planet’s habitable land and use about 70 per cent of freshwater supplies.
“By making meat from plants, through fermentation, or through cultivation of actual animal cells, we can reduce the harmful climate impacts of our food system, decrease the risk of zoonotic disease and antibiotic resistance, and feed more people with fewer resources. We can also slow biodiversity loss, reduce air and water pollution and preserve our oceans,” the GFI report reads in part.
According to GFI, cultivated meat, also known as cultured meat, is genuine animal meat (including seafood and organ meats).
“This production method eliminates the need to raise and farm animals for food. Cultivated meat is made of the same cell types arranged in the same or similar structure as animal tissues, thus replicating the sensory and nutritional profiles of conventional meat,” GFI explained.