US clears lab-grown meat for human consumption 

US approves lab-grown meat for human consumption
The world's first lab-grown beef burger, London, August 5, 2013, credit: Reuters/David Parry/pool

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Wednesday that it had cleared lab-grown meat grown for human consumption. Upside Foods is a company that makes cell-cultured chicken by collecting cells from live chickens and using those cells to grow meat in stainless-steel tanks.

The FDA said in a statement that Upside will be able to sell its products in the country once it has been approved by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “The world is experiencing a food revolution, and the (FDA) is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply,” the FDA said, adding it had reviewed data from Upside and concluded its product is safe for humans to eat.

“We are thrilled at FDA’s announcement,” David Kay, Upside’s director of communications, said in an email. “This historic step paves the way for our path to market.”

The FDA said it’s willing to work with other firms developing lab-grown meat, also known as cultured meat. The USDA will oversee the processing and labelling of lab-grown meat products.

Demand for alternatives to farm animal meat has grown as more governments fear the high greenhouse gas emissions from live animal farming.

Cows, pigs, sheep, pigs and other farm animals are responsible for about 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to a scientific study led by researchers at the University of Illinois last year.

Several start-ups worldwide are attempting to produce lab-grown meat, enabling humans to eat animal protein without harming the planet and without any animal suffering.

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