Yesterday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave permission to use laboratory-grown animal meat as a food product for human consumption.
The new regulation was announced this Wednesday and currently applies only to a single company, UPSIDE Foods. After reviewing data from the company, FDA concluded that its product – cell-cultured chicken meat – is safe for humans to eat.
Other companies pursuing the possibility to produce and sell food products grown in a form of animal-derived cell cultures will need to pass their individual FDA reviews. However, the U.S. agency noted that it is ready to work with other manufacturers and inspect their products, too.
Lab-grown meat is produced by harvesting cells from live animals and later moving them to a special growth-supporting environment in steel containers. This way, it is possible to grow the required amount of meat that closely resembles the natural version, taste-wise.
“The world is experiencing a food revolution and the (FDA) is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply,” noted FDA officials.
Many companies are exploring opportunities to produce lab-grown meat products as an alternative to farmed meat. This trend is mainly driven by global concerns due to high greenhouse gas emissions produced while raising livestock.
The U.S. market of cell-cultured meat is regulated jointly by USDA and FDA agencies. USDA oversees the processing and labeling of cell-cultured meat products.