Yesterday (June 21), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave permission to Good Meat and Upside Foods to produce and sell chicken that has been grown from sample animal cells in vats. The US is now the second country in the world, after Singapore, to allow the sale of meat grown from animal cells.
Upside was the first cultured meat company in the US to receive the green light from USDA in November last year and has been working with the group’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to secure the remaining approvals that are required before its cultivated chicken could be sold to consumers.
Meatable chief executive and co-founder Krijn de Nood said Good Meat and Upside Foods receiving final approval from the USDA, marked a huge milestone for the cultivated meat industry in being able to produce and sell cultivated meat to the consumer market in the US.
“As an industry, it's a moment to celebrate as we mark these companies successfully navigating the critical steps to the full commercialisation of these products to meet the demands of consumers,” said Nood.
“In the EU and UK, we're also seeing positive support in the regulatory landscape, with governments looking to remove the barriers to bringing cultivated meat to consumers and providing funding for innovation in food production including cell-based foods.
“While Meatable continues to secure regulatory approvals in Singapore, we're also preparing to work with the relevant US authorities to secure US safety approval for our products.”
Significant investment to come
Intellectual property firm Mewburn Ellis said the approvals will spark renewed interest and significant additional investment in cellular agriculture technology, driving further innovation in this fast-moving field.
Commenting on the implications for the UK, Mewburn Ellis partner and head of their future food practice Adam Gregory said: “We hope that the UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) will also move soon, as we expect early adopters of the technology to enjoy significant economic benefit from the commercial opportunities opened-up by approvals.
Earlier this month, Deloitte published recommendations for changes to the UK’s Novel Foods Regulatory Framework in a report commissioned by the FSA, commenting that ‘a good regulatory process does not impose unnecessary barriers to innovation’.
“Cultivated meat is poised to revolutionise the global food system, and the UK should look to act quickly if they want to enjoy a slice of the action.”
3D Bio Tissues chief executive Che Connon was also confident that today’s news heralded a bright future for the cultivated meat market and would foster growth for businesses in the industry.
“US regulations for food safety are some of the most stringent in the world,” said Connon. “Today’s approval will pave the way for the Government approval for other producers of cultivated meat in the US, including companies that 3D Bio Tissues is looking to partner with to help scale up cultivated meat production.
“This decision has the potential to rapidly accelerate the development of the cultivated meat market in America and provides a clear framework for other countries to also follow.”