Meat grown in a laboratory could be on restaurant menus by the end of the year, according to a manufacturer’s claim reported by The Independent
These products are made from stem cells harvested via biopsy from living livestock, which are then grown in a lab over a number of weeks.
The Independent report (citing reports in CNN and the Guardian) says –
Some environmentalists believe the process could be the key to reducing global warming, with one study predicting it could lower harmful greenhouse emissions by 96 per cent.
And the first products could be available for human consumption within months, according to Josh Tetrick, CEO of clean meat manufacturer JUST.
Chicken nuggets, sausage and foie gras created using the technique could be served in restaurants in the US and Asia “before the end of 2018”, he told CNN.
But public perception and a reluctance to diverge from traditional farmed meat still represent considerable hurdles for the clean meat industry to overcome, he said.
“Gnarly problems, communication issues, regulatory issues,” would have to be solved before products went to market, he said in a separate interview with The Guardian.
The report also quotes Professor Mark Post, chief scientific officer at Mosa Meat, whose lab based at Maastricht University in the Netherlands was responsible for creating the world’s first cultured hamburger.
Professor Post said the regulatory approval process could delay samples being distributed to suppliers by years.
He gave a time frame of three years before the company could sell its first product to the mass market.
But The Independent goes on to note a recent study’s findings that one-third of Americans would be willing to eat clean meat regularly or as a replacement for farmed meat.
To reach that point, companies will have to bring down the cost of mass production.
Memphis Meats, a food technology company based in San Francisco, has to spend around $2,400 (£1,800) to make 450 grams of beef.
But as techniques become more streamlined, the price is falling, and the company believes it will be able to send the first products to market by 2021.
The animal rights charity, Peta, has been investing in in vitro meat research for the past six years.