Meat grown from animal cells approved for sale in the U.S.

Meat grown from animal cells approved for sale in the U.S.

For all of human history, eating meat has meant slaughtering animals. But scientists behind cultivated meat say that's no longer necessary. They produce meat by growing cells extracted from an animal's body. And, this week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture gave its first clearances to sell "meat" produced this way.

GOOD Meat, a division of Eat Just, Inc., announced that it has received approval from the USDA for its first poultry product, cultivated chicken, grown directly from animal cells, to be sold in the U.S.

"This announcement that we're now able to produce and sell cultivated meat in the United States is a major moment for our company, the industry and the food system, " said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of GOOD Meat and Eat Just.

GOOD Meat already sells its cultivated chicken in Singapore, which in 2020 became the first country to allow commercial sales of cultivated meat.

The USDA has also cleared the sale of UPSIDE Food's cultivated chicken.

Unlike traditional meat production, culturing animal cells in a petri-dish causes no harm or pain to a sentient animal, those backing it insist.

But what’s not yet being discussed in any of the ‘gee-whiz’ publicity about lab-grown meat is the back story behind the medium needed to produce it.

According to a prominent Australian animal scientist spoken to by Beef Central, multiplying animal cells to create a form of meat protein in a lab requires the use of a medium based on foetal blood plasma.

Foetal blood is produced by slaughtering a pregnant cow, removing its unborn calf from its uterus, and harvesting the blood from it. While a synthetic alternative to foetal blood does exist, it is apparently prohibitively expensive to produce, the meat scientist said.

So much for ‘mortality free’ lab-grown meat production.