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A dinner plate near you may soon contain lab-made meat.
The Food and Drug Administration’s declaration that chicken raised in laboratories is “safe to eat” could completely alter how food is processed in the United States.
The agency’s statement, which was released on Wednesday, is specific to chicken that was grown in a laboratory and produced by the California startup company Upside Foods. However, it might soon include synthetic meats produced by numerous other businesses.
In a statement, FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf said: “The world is experiencing a food revolution and the FDA is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply.”
According to Costa Yiannoulis of Synthesis Capital, the largest food technology fund in the world, “We will see this as the day the food system really started changing,” he exclaimed to The Washington Post. This is seismic and ground-breaking because the US is the first significant market to approve it.
The only nation where lab-grown meats can currently be legally sold to consumers is Singapore.
We will remember this as the day the food system began to transform significantly: Some believe lab-produced meats will revolutionize the food industry.
Upside Foods uses cells taken from chicken tissue to grow edible chicken flesh in bioreactors under carefully controlled conditions. The company claims that the produced flesh is the same as that obtained from chickens that have been raised and butchered conventionally. The laboratory procedure has been thoroughly described by the FDA.
According to the Washington Post, “dozens” of larger American food companies want to produce their own domestic meat, and more FDA announcements are probably coming soon.
According to Bruce Friedrich, president of the Good Food Institute, “this is a crucial step toward the future of food.” “Consumers in the US who want their favorite foods made more sustainably will soon have access to cultivated meat, with production requiring a fraction of the land and water of conventional meat when produced at scale.”
Along with the advantages for the environment, the FDA’s declaration might reduce animal abuse. It might also make many vegetarians wonder whether they would ever start eating meat if no animals were killed in the process.
Restaurants and supermarkets might not soon be stocking lab-made meat in large quantities, though high price points and consumer skepticism could stall a shift in that direction.
Bruce Friedrich, president of the Good Food Institute, told the publication that “this is a crucial milestone toward the future of food.” “Cultivated meat will soon be accessible to US consumers who want their favorite foods to be produced in a more sustainable way. When produced at scale, it uses a small fraction of the land and water of conventional meat.”
The FDA’s announcement could reduce animal abuse in addition to the environmental advantages. It might also make many vegetarians wonder whether they would start eating meat if there were no animal deaths involved.
The shift to lab-made meat may take longer than expected due to high price points and consumer skepticism, so it may not be stocked in large quantities by restaurants and supermarkets for some time.
Professor Marion Nestle of New York University agrees with the FDA that farm-raised meat is safe for consumption, but she acknowledges that some Americans may have their doubts.
It’s a technological response to a challenging issue. We simply don’t understand it well enough,” Nestle told USA Today. “I believe there are valid reasons for hesitation, of course.”
What do you think of that lab-grown meat? Please let us know in the comments.