The Food and Drug Administration announced it has cleared a California company, Upside, to sell “slaughter-free” chicken meat grown in a lab.
Lab-Grown Meat From Other Slaughtered Animals Approved By FDA For Consumption
Upside makes “cell-cultivated meat” using biopsies from living animals and “recently slaughtered animals who were already a part of the food system,” according to the FDA. The company expects these cells to be capable of indefinitely self-renewing, and eventually “phase out” all animal components.
The historical move is just one step closer to Americans regularly chowing down on lab-grown meat. The approval will affect restaurant menus and grocery store shelves across the United States.
In a statement from the FDA shared on November 16th, the agency said it had completed an evaluation of chicken from Upside Foods and had “no further questions” about the product’s safety. The agency added that they considered the lab-grown meat safe for consumption. It will probably take months, if not longer before the product reaches consumers, and it first must get additional clearance from the Department of Agriculture.
“This is huge for the industry,” said Liz Specht, the vice president of science and technology at the Good Food Institute, a nonprofit focused on cell- and plant-based meat.
“For the very first time, this is the F.D.A. giving the greenlight to a cultivated meat product.”
FDA Wants To Assist With More Lab-Grown Meat Firms
The FDA added that there’s room for more lab-based meat companies. In their statement, the administration said they are “ready to work with additional firms developing cultured animal cell food and production processes to ensure their products are safe and lawful” by their standards. They also plan to issue guidance to assist firms that intend to produce human foods from cultured animal cells.
We are already engaged in discussion with multiple firms about various types of products made from cultured animal cells, including those made from seafood cells, which will be overseen solely by the FDA. We continue to encourage firms to enter into dialogue with us often and early in their product development phase, well ahead of making any submission to us.