FDA grants first safety approval for company selling lab-grown meat

FDA grants first safety approval for company selling lab-grown meat

This is UPSIDE Foods, a company that manufactures chicken grown from live animal cells and uses them to grow meat in stainless steel tanks, which becomes a milestone in the food industry

Can you imagine eating lab-grown chicken? This isn’t a scene from a sci-fi movie, but a startup that developed this food from animal cell culture won a key safety approval Wednesday from the Food and Drug Administration.

The FDA has cleared California-based company Upside Foods over the safety of its animal cell culture technology, which can produce meat products without slaughtering any live animals.

The FDA decision, a first for so-called cultured meats, means lab-grown chicken is considered safe to eat, though further approvals are needed before the products can be sold in the US.

The FDA said in an update Wednesday that it has evaluated Upside Foods’ production process and cultured cellular material and has “no further questions” about its safety. The decision has significant implications for sustainable food production and the burgeoning cultured meat industry.

“This is a watershed moment in food history,” said Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods, in a statement.

“This milestone marks a big step toward a new era in meat production, and I’m thrilled that American consumers will soon have the opportunity to eat delicious meat grown directly from animal cells.”

However, to sell its products to the public, Upside Foods still needs to obtain approval from both the FDA and the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. She said that she is working to secure any remaining approvals before it is released.

The cultured meats and meat alternatives industry has grown explosively in recent years, particularly as startups seek to create more sustainable and climate-friendly ways to produce food.

Meats are “cultured” from cells taken from an animal, usually through a biopsy, from a cell bank, or from a piece of fresh meat that has already been slaughtered as part of the food system. The cells are fed a mixture of nutrients, such as amino acids, sugars, trace elements and vitamins, causing them to multiply and become finished meat products.

Upside Foods said its cell culture technology is designed to “renew indefinitely,” meaning the production process will not rely on the slaughter of live animals.

The FDA said it is evaluating other types of food made from cultured animal cells.

“Our goal is to support innovation in food technologies while always keeping the production of safe food our priority,” the agency said in a statement. “Human foods made from cultured animal cells must meet the same stringent requirements, including safety requirements, as all other foods.”

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.