Singapore first country to sell lab-grown cruelty free chicken

A fillet of lab-grown cultured chicken, photo: Eat Just / Reuters
A fillet of lab-grown cultured chicken, photo: Eat Just / Reuters

Lab-grown chicken will soon be available in restaurants in Singapore. The country is the first to green-light meat created without slaughtering any animals. It’s so-called lean or cultured meat, which is grown from animal muscle cells in a lab.

US start-up Eat Just said Wednesday that its meat had been approved for sale as an ingredient in chicken nuggets, which the company called a “breakthrough for the global food industry”.

There’s a worldwide growing demand for alternatives to regular meat due to concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment. “I’m sure that our regulatory approval for cultured meat will be the first of many in Singapore and in countries around the globe,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.

There were concerns that lab-grown varieties would be too expensive, but a spokesman for Eat Just said the company had made “considerable progress” in lowering the cost. “Right from the start, we will be at price parity for premium chicken at a
high-end restaurant,” he told AFP.

Chicken nuggets will be launched first, then other products, including chicken breasts. The Singapore Food Agency confirmed it had approved the sale of Eat Just’s lab-grown chicken in nuggets after concluding it was safe for consumption.

Singapore has become a hub for the development of sustainable foods, with start-ups producing goods ranging from lab-grown seafood to dumplings made with tropical fruit instead of pork.

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