An Examination of the Pros and Cons of Cultivated Meat in Relation to a Sustainable and Ethical Food System
The United States is moving closer to allowing the sale of lab-grown meat made from animal cells, including chicken. Good Meat, the company behind this innovative chicken product, made an announcement on Tuesday regarding its receipt of a ‘no questions’ letter from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This letter confirms that the FDA has reviewed and approved the safety of the product for sale in the US. Another company, Upside Foods, received a similar letter from the FDA in November for their meat made from cultured chicken cells.
While receiving the ‘no questions’ letter from the FDA is a significant milestone, it is important to note that consumers will not be able to purchase lab-grown meat products just yet. Good Meat and Upside Foods must still obtain approval from the US Department of Agriculture before their products can be sold to the public.
Good Meat acknowledged the significance of receiving the ‘no questions’ letter from the FDA, stating that it is a crucial step towards making their product available to restaurants and retailers in the US. The company also mentioned in a statement on Tuesday that they are currently collaborating with the US Department of Agriculture to obtain the necessary approvals for their lab-grown meat product to be sold to consumers.
Good Meat promotes its product as ‘meat without slaughter,’ which offers a more ethical and humane approach to consuming meat. Supporters of lab-grown meat believe that it has the potential to help combat climate change by decreasing the reliance on traditional animal agriculture, which is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Cultivated or lab-grown meat is produced in a vat, similar to the ones used in beer breweries.
Good Meat has announced that once their product receives USDA approval, chef and board member José Andrés will introduce the lab-grown meat at a restaurant in Washington, D.C. At this time, there is no specific timeline for when USDA approval will be granted to either Good Meat or Upside Foods. However, internationally, the approval process is moving at a quicker pace.
Good Meat’s cell-based chicken was approved for sale in Singapore in 2020, and has already been available at various restaurants in that country. Josh Tetrick, CEO of both Good Meat and Eat Just, stated in an email to CNN that it is exciting to bring the concept of ‘chicken without slaughter’ to the United States, especially after two years of success in Singapore.
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