For the first time, a lab-grown meat product has been approved for human consumption.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States has approved cell-cultured chicken following a “careful evaluation.”
Upside Foods created it in steel tanks using cells harvested from live animals.
Following an inspection by the US Department of Agriculture, it will be available for sale to consumers.
The FDA stated that it made its decision based on data and information provided by the company and that it had “no further questions at this time.”
“We started Upside amid a world full of skeptics, and today, we’ve made history again as the first company to receive a ‘No Questions Letter’ from the FDA for cultivated meat,” said the company’s founder and CEO, Uma Valeti.
Upside Foods will face a number of challenges before it can sell its products, such as obtaining formal approval for the facility where the product is manufactured, but Mr. Valeti described the news as “a watershed moment in the history of food.”
Several start-up food companies have been attempting to develop similar products, which could result in significant reductions in carbon emissions and water consumption while also freeing up land for nature.
Lab-grown meat could reduce environmental pressure
According to BBC, such foods could reduce environmental pressures by more than 80% when compared to the typical European diet.
Cultured meat products are expected to account for a larger portion of the total meat market in the future.
Eat Just, a competitor of Upside Foods, was the first to receive approval in Singapore in 2020 to produce artificial “clean meat.” Its nuggets are created in a lab from animal muscle cells.
Future Meat Technologies, based in Israel, and Impossible Foods, whose plant-based Impossible Burger was introduced in 2016 and quickly gained popularity, are two of the largest companies in the sector.
As a result, the company formed a partnership with Burger King, and Impossible Whoppers are now available on the menus of the majority of its US locations.