U.S. officials on Wednesday gave their initial approval to the sale of chicken derived from animal cells, enabling two California businesses to provide “lab-grown” poultry to American restaurant menus and possibly grocery store shelves.
The Agriculture Department approved the sale of what is now known as “cell-cultivated” or “cultured” meat as it leaves the lab and makes its way to dinner plates by Upside Foods and Good Meat.
These companies had been competing to be the first in the U.S. to sell meat that doesn’t come from slaughtered animals.
The decision ushers in a new age of meat production that aims to end animal suffering and significantly reduce the environmental effects of grazing, growing animal feed, and animal waste.
We can do it in a different way instead of using all that land and all that water to feed all of these animals that are killed, said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just, which runs Good Meat.
The businesses were given the go-ahead for the government inspections necessary to sell meat and poultry in the United States.
The move was made a few months after the U.S. Both firms’ goods have been confirmed safe for consumption by the Food and Drug Administration.
The goods can also be produced by Joinn Biologics, a manufacturing business that collaborates with Good Meat.
Using cells from a living animal, a fertilized egg, or a specialized bank of stored cells, cultivated meat is developed in steel tanks.
In the case of Upside, it is released in bulky sheets that are later shaped into sausages and chicken cutlets.
Masses of chicken cells are transformed into cutlets, nuggets, shredded meat, and satays by Good Meat, which already sells cultured meat in Singapore, the first country to permit it.
However, don’t expect to find this unique meat any time soon in American grocery shops. According to Ricardo San Martin, director of the Alt:Meat Lab at the University of California, Berkeley, chicken that has been raised in captivity is far more expensive to purchase than meat from entire, farmed birds and cannot yet be produced on the same scale as traditional meat.
The businesses want to launch the new cuisine at high-end eateries first. Upside has teamed with Bar Crenn in San Francisco, and Good Meat meals will be offered at a restaurant owned by chef and restaurateur Jose Andrés in Washington, D.C.
The items are meat, not meat alternatives like the Impossible Burger or offerings from Beyond Meat, which are produced from plant proteins and other components, as company executives are careful to point out.