Culture

FDA Declares Lab-Grown Meat Is Safe For Human Consumption For The First Time

By Gina Florio
·  3 min read
lab grown meat

The vegan diet has become more and more popular over the last several years and public health organizations keep encouraging Americans to give up meat and eggs in favor of plant-based foods due to the environmental impact and cruel treatment of animals. Lab-grown meat may be a way around that, and the FDA has just approved it for human consumption.

The FDA has a heavy hand in approving which foods are appropriate for Americans and which are considered dangerous. It's safe to say they tend to make some strange choices, and the fact that they gave the green light to lab-grown meat is yet another example. We've been told by the media for quite some time that we should reduce our consumption of animal products because they're terrible for the environment. Naturally, that has opened the door for the FDA to approve meat that is made in a Petri dish. Sounds delicious, right?

FDA Declares Lab-Grown Meat Is Safe for Human Consumption

For the very first time, the FDA has approved meat grown in a laboratory. The administration released a statement on Wednesday called "FDA Completes First Pre-Market Consultation for Human Food Made Using Animal Cell Culture Technology," announcing that they "evaluated the information UPSIDE Foods submitted to the agency" and have no questions about the safety of the product.

"The firm will use animal cell culture technology to take living cells from chickens and grow the cells in a controlled environment to make the cultured animal cell food," the statement reads. "The FDA's pre-market consultation with the firm included an evaluation of the firm’s production process and the cultured cell material made by the production process, including the establishment of cell lines and cell banks, manufacturing controls, and all components and inputs. The voluntary pre-market consultation is not an approval process. Instead, it means that after our careful evaluation of the data and information shared by the firm, we have no further questions at this time about the firm’s safety conclusion."

UPSIDE Foods will still need a grant of inspection from the US Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service before the products can be sold in the US market. The FDA assures Americans that they are "closely coordinating with USDA-FSIS to ensure it is properly regulated and labeled."

In order to make this lab-grown chicken, for example, they take animal cells from a chicken and this cultivates the same amount of poultry that comes from hundreds of thousands of farmed chickens. A spokesperson from UPSIDE Foods says their lab-grown meat will eliminate "the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals" and uses much less water and land than what is required for farmed animals.

The company is based in Emeryville, California and it was founded in 2015. On their website they claim that their efforts will help feed the 10 billion mouths that will be in the world by 2050. UPSIDE Foods has also recently acquired Cultured Decadence, a cultivated seafood company.

However, there is much skepticism about whether this meat is something we should be interested in consuming. People are pointing out that the FDA doesn't have a great track record when it comes to approving foods and medication in the US. We know that the organization experiments on the bodies of aborted babies (and uses our tax dollars to do it). So why should we trust a company they have approved of so quickly that creates meat in a lab?