Two cultured meat companies have announced that US regulators have given them the green light to begin selling to the public, marking a huge milestone in the future of no-kill meat. Made only from animal cells, both Good Meat and Upside Foods have stated that the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved their lab-grown chicken products, the first of their kind, to hit supermarket shelves soon.
“This announcement that we’re now able to produce and sell cultivated meat in the United States is a major moment for our company, the industry and the food system,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of GOOD Meat and Eat Just, in a statement.
“We have been the only company selling cultivated meat anywhere in the world since we launched in Singapore in 2020, and now it's approved to sell to consumers in the world's largest economy. We appreciate the rigor and thoughtfulness that both the FDA and USDA have applied during this historic two-agency regulatory process.”
To get a meat product approved, it must go through a strict regulatory policy that looks at the production and final product. For the first time for a cultured poultry product, US regulators will now assign inspectors to the facilities that Good Meat and Upside Foods use, too.
This cultured chicken has been on sale at certain upmarket restaurants in Singapore, so this won’t be the first time anyone has got their hands on it, but this is the first to go on commercial sale to the public across the US.
Cultivated, or lab-grown, meat refers to a process of using animal cells to create muscle tissue akin to meat you would find from slaughtered animals. It is grown in large vats and then layered in various different ways to create a product that looks close to the real deal and tastes the same – they can even create fat now, for extra happiness.
The benefits of cultured meat are huge. No animals are subjected to cruelty, it uses a fraction of the land space, emissions are reduced in most examples, and the product can be tailored to specific results. However, it has struggled with producing at scale and keeping costs down, until recent advances.
Now, other companies hope to be close behind to push forward innovation in the area, which could be set to revolutionize the food that we eat.
"GOOD Meat’s grant of inspection is a historic moment for the global food industry as we prepare for the first cell-cultured/cultivated chicken products to be sold in the United States, following rigorous and science-based evaluations by the FDA and USDA,” said Robert Rankin, Executive Director, Association of Meat, Poultry, and Seafood Innovation.
“AMPS Innovation members continue to make ground-breaking advancements that will, in partnership with the entire food and agriculture sector, help meet increased demand for protein as the world’s population continues to grow.”