Lab-grown cultivated meat has received Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance in the U.S., opening the door to a new meat sector.
- Cultivated meat company Eat Just has received tacit approval from the FDA to allow the consumption of its lab-grown chicken in the U.S.
- The FDA’s decision means that it believes the company’s chicken is safe to consume.
- While it received clearance from the FDA, Eat Just must get its second regulatory approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which will inspect the company’s facilities and the meat it produces.
- Eat Just is already selling cultivated chicken meat in Singapore, and the U.S. is the second country to move forward with regulatory approval for the lab-grown product.
Why it’s news
It is said that the global meat industry accounts for 60% of greenhouse gas emissions from food production, which contributes to 37% of total emissions. Increasingly, Americans are eating less meat and more plant-based foods.
To satisfy the demand for an alternative to meat, many companies have created meatless options and made lab-grown proteins.
Plant-based food company Eat Just created cultivated chicken that recently received FDA clearance getting one step closer to selling lab-grown chicken products in America.
Cultivated meat is real meat that is grown in a lab by cultivating animal cells. Eat Just uses animal cells to grow meat in bioreactors cutting out the need for growing and killing animals.
The FDA issued a no-questions letter stating that the regulatory body accepts Eat Just’s conclusion that its cultivated chicken is safe to eat, but the meat must go through more regulatory processing before it is in the U.S. market.
The FDA investigated the chicken cells, the processes used to grow them, and the culture media used to feed the cells, concluding that the product is safe for consumption, but it must go through more processes with the USDA.
The Department of Agriculture will inspect all facilities where the chicken is produced and ensure the way the meat is harvested is safe.
The cultivated meat has been on the market in Singapore for two years, which was beneficial for the brand as it had plenty of actual safety data to share with the FDA. Eat Just expects the process to go smoothly, and the company will soon have chicken on the shelves in the U.S.
Although the FDA has deemed lab-grown meat safe, many question whether the product is healthy. Many dieticians have stated that lab-grown meat will likely resemble naturally grown products but contain fewer antibiotics and additives.
The lab-grown products will have fewer calories and will most likely have added nutrients to ensure consumers get all the needed proteins and nutrients from the product.