Singapore Becomes the First Country to Approve Lab-Grown Meat for consumption
For the last couple of years, animal conservation has become a rage and the meat industry has been relentlessly criticized for animal slaughter. To provide meat for non-vegetarians without inflicting harm to wildlife, scientists concocted the idea of lab-grown meat – on which much work has been done and much is undergoing. Recently, Singapore has become the first country to approve lab-grown meat for consumption.
The country has allowed the US start-up Eat Just to sell its lab-grown chicken meat, which firm says is the world’s first government approval for “clean meat” that doesn’t come from slaughtered animals.
Demand for alternatives to regular meat has been increasing owing to concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment. Plant-based replacements, popularized by brands such as Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods and Quorn, have rapidly made a place on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. But, the clean or cultured meat, which is grown in a laboratory using animal cells, is still at an embryonic stage given the high production costs.
Singapore has become the first government to allow the sale of cultured meat. The product, created from animal cells without harming any chickens, will come out in Singapore under the GOOD Meat brand as a chicken bite with breading and seasoning in a single restaurant.
According to the co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, the meat will be sold as nuggets and will be priced at premium chicken prices when it first launches in a restaurant in Singapore. He further added that the flavor and taste of this cultured meat is the same as a real chicken.
Singapore currently produces only about 10 percent of its food, but has set out ambitious plans to increase its food production over the next decade by supporting high-tech farming and new means of food production. With a goal of producing 30 percent of its food by 2030, Singapore is moving quickly to allow the sale of alternative proteins like cultured meat.
The Singapore Food Agency said it had analyzed data relating to process, manufacturing control, and safety testing before approving the product for consumption. Meanwhile, Eat Just stated it will manufacture the product in Singapore, where it aims to start making a mung bean-based egg substitute it has been selling commercially in the United States.