Lab-grown meat will be sold to the US for the first time, with the federal government giving two businesses approval to sell their meat.
Who’s Ready For Non-Meat Meat?
The USDA approval comes in the form of a grant of inspection. Strictly speaking, the grant means that the companies’ meat-processing facilities are in compliance with the agency’s standards and will be regularly inspected. This, in effect, allows their products to be sold at large.
UPSIDE Foods, a company that makes cell-cultured chicken by harvesting cells from live animals and using the cells to grow meat in stainless-steel tanks, will be able to bring its products to market once it has been inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), said a release from the FDA.
“This approval will fundamentally change how meat makes it to our table,” Upside Foods CEO Uma Valeti said in a statement. “It’s a giant step forward towards a more sustainable future — one that preserves choice and life.”
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a “no questions” response to GOOD Meat in March of this year, marking the company’s lab-grown chicken product as safe to eat. Upside Foods received a similar approval in November 2022.
Growing Lab Meat
Cultivated or lab-grown meat is grown in a giant vat, much like what you’d find at a beer brewery.
Lab-grown meat refers to meat developed from animal cell culture, and not via traditional raising and slaughter of living animals. It is not an imitation of meat made with other ingredients, like plant-based burgers that are made from plant-based proteins.
“GOOD Meat is real meat, made without tearing down a forest or taking a life. We’re the first and only company in the world to sell cultivated meat made from cells instead of slaughtered animals,” the company boasts on its website.
Who Is Selling Lab Grown Meat?
Two companies, Upside Foods, and Good Meat, said on Wednesday they have received final U.S. Department of Agriculture approval to sell lab-grown meat, paving the way for the nation’s first-ever sales of the product.
With the approvals, the United States will become the second country after Singapore to allow the sale of so-called cultivated meat, which is derived from a sample of livestock cells that are fed and grown in steel vats.
Good Meat, which is owned by plant-based egg substitute maker Eat Just, said that production is starting immediately.
Industry leaders have admitted that no one has figured out how to scale up production while keeping costs reasonable. Getting skeptical consumers to eat it will prove harder still.
It will probably be a while before you see lab-grown meat in your local supermarket but for now, companies plan to publicly debut their products at a few select (and upscale) restaurants and locations.
Although it’s hyped up at the moment lab grown meat isn’t for everyone, not to mention the obvious question — is it actually safe for humans to eat long term, how much does it really cost to make, and how long is the process?
You can find lab grown chicken in a restaurant in Singapore, here.
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