Lab-grown meat is OK for human consumption, FDA says. That’s the headline of an article I read.
The US Food and Drug Administration has given a safety clearance to lab-grown meat for the first time.
Upside Foods, a California-based company that makes meat from cultured chicken cells, will be able to begin selling its products once its facilities have been inspected by the US Department of Agriculture.
Although not technically an approval, the FDA said that a thorough pre-market consultation process had been completed. The clearance only applies to food made from cultured chicken cells by Upside, but the statement said the FDA “is ready to work with additional firms developing cultured animal cell food.”
Nothing in the article made me salivate at the idea of eating a chicken breast grown in a vat of slime, however. I have to wonder: does lab-grown chicken taste like chicken? Or does it taste like tofu?
“Advancements in cell culture technology are enabling food developers to use animal cells obtained from livestock, poultry, and seafood in the production of food, with these products expected to be ready for the U.S. market in the near future,” Dr. Robert M. Califf, the FDA’s commissioner of food and drugs and Susan T. Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN), said in a statement.
A traditional chicken is ready to process after only seven to nine weeks. It’s hard to imaging growing chicken meat in a lab would be profitable.
He told CNN earlier this year that the process of making cultivated meat was “similar to brewing beer, but instead of growing yeast or microbes, we grow animal cells.”
“These products are not vegan, vegetarian or plant-based – they are real meat, made without the animal.”
Somehow I don’t think lab-grown chicken is similar to brewing beer. I’ve brewed beer before and I fail to see the similarities. Apparently lab-grown chicken is sold in Singapore.