Second company to get US approval for lab-grown meat

Lab-grown meat might hit US restaurants in 2023
A raw piece of cultivated chicken breast created at the Upside Foods plant, Emeryville, California, United States, January 11, 2023, credit: Reuters/Peter DaSilva

California’s Upside Foods said on Wednesday it received official approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its lab-grown chicken meat, making it the second company in the US to receive that approval.

“The USDA’s approval of our label marks a major step forward towards our goal of creating a more humane and sustainable food system,” said Uma Valeti, the founder of Upside Foods.

Several companies are seeking approval from the USDA for cultured meat and fish products. On June 8, Good Meat became the first company to receive the USDA label approval.

Good Meat and Upside Foods are still awaiting a site inspection from USDA, the final step in the regulatory approval process before their lab-grown meat can go to market. Cultured meat is made from cells from animals, which are grown inside steel vats.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the USDA both play a role in the approval process for lab-grown meat: the FDA determines whether the product is safe for human consumption, and the USDA reviews the product’s label and conducts the facility inspection.

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