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Lab-Grown Chicken (and Duck) Could be on the Menu in 4 Years

Accepted submission by takyon at 2017-03-16 05:02:48
Science

A company called Memphis Meats has announced that it has developed artificial/synthetic/lab-grown/cultured chicken and duck meat [sciencemag.org]. The company's press release says it plans to sell cultured meat products to consumers as soon as 2021. Duck is identified as key to the mainland China market, which consumes more of it (over 6 billion pounds annually) than the rest of the world combined:

The quest for artificial meat inches forward—the company Memphis Meats announced today [squarespace.com] it has developed chicken and duck meat from cultured cells of each bird, producing "clean poultry." The firm provided few details, although participants at a tasting reportedly said the chicken tasted like, well, chicken. Below is a repost of a story originally published 23 August 2016 on some of the regulatory challenges and questions facing Memphis Meats and other companies pursuing artificial meats.

[...] So far, none of these synthetic foods has reached the marketplace. But a handful of startup companies in the United States and elsewhere are trying to scale up production. In the San Francisco Bay area in California, entrepreneurs at Memphis Meats [memphismeats.com] hope to have their cell-cultured meatballs, hot dogs, and sausages on store shelves in about 5 years, and those at Perfect Day [perfectdayfoods.com] are targeting the end of 2017 to distribute cow-free dairy products. It's not clear, however, which government agencies would oversee this potential new food supply.

Historically, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates meat, poultry, and eggs, whereas the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees safety and security for food additives. FDA also approves so-called biologics, which include products made from human tissues, blood, and cells, and gene therapy techniques. But emerging biotechnologies may blur those lines of oversight, because some of the new foods don't fit neatly into existing regulatory definitions. "Cellular culture raises a lot of questions," says Isha Datar, CEO of New Harvest, a New York City–based nonprofit founded to support this nascent industry.

To help provide answers, the White House last year launched an initiative to review and overhaul how U.S. agencies regulate agricultural biotechnology [sciencemag.org] [DOI: 10.1126/science.349.6244.131] [DX [doi.org]]. And the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in Washington, D.C., is working on a broader study of future biotechnology developments and regulation [nas-sites.org], with a report slated for release at the end of this year. In the meantime, industry leaders are thinking about how their potential lab-based foods might be handled by regulators. One approach, they tell ScienceInsider, is to show that their product is similar to an existing product that testing has already shown to pose no hazards. "Most food regulation is about aligning new products with something that's already recognized as safe," Datar notes.

Related: Producing Beef has the Greatest Impact on the Environment Compared to Other Animal Based Foods [soylentnews.org]
Real Vegan Cheese: Coming From a Yeast to You [soylentnews.org]
Would You Try Silicon Valley's Bloody Plant Burger(s)? [soylentnews.org]
Lab-Grown Pork Closer to Reality [soylentnews.org]

Right now, manufactured meat is as real as a flying car.
- Anonymous Coward, 2014 [soylentnews.org]


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