22 June 2023
US approval of cultivated meat marks significant progress towards sustainable protein
In a momentous achievement for the cultivated meat industry worldwide, the US Department of Agriculture has granted official safety approval for the sale of cultivated meat.
This makes it only the second country in the world, after Singapore, to approve cultivated meat, also known as cultured meat.
Cultivated meat makes use of cells harvested directly from living tissue that can replicate themselves and grow outside of the body of the animal source (in vitro) using a specialised medium containing essential nutrients and growth factors akin to what is found inside the body of the source animal. Thus, mimicking what happens when an animal grows, cultivated meat is ‘grown’, to an almost limitless degree, inside fermentors.
There are four companies working in the cultivated meat ecosystem in Australia and New Zealand.
Food Standards Australia New Zealand, FSANZ, is in the process of reviewing an application from Australian cultivated meat company Vow to sell cultivated quail.
Executive Director of alternative proteins think tank Food Frontier, Dr Simon Eassom, says the US approval will boost the morale of Australia’s cellular agriculture sector and other food innovators working to introduce greater protein diversity.
He says, “With our highly active food systems innovation and technical initiatives, Australia has the potential to lead the way on the global stage. If approval is granted in Australia, we will be at the forefront of the international race to develop alternative, and lucrative, solutions for the ever-growing protein demands worldwide.
“Cultivated meat offers consumers additional choices and helps ensure our food security as we move towards a more sustainable future food system.”
According to consultancy firm McKinsey and Company, cultivated meat could be worth up to $25 billion globally by 2030 and the alternative proteins sector contribute $1.1 trillion to the global economy and up to 10 million new jobs by 2050. Eassom says, “Australia has the R&D expertise, the technology, and the entrepreneurial mindset required to accelerate developments in cellular agriculture but we can’t be complacent.
“Other countries, such as Canada and Israel, are heavily investing in the alternative proteins sector and Australia needs to move fast if it’s to be a major player in the region. Gaining regulatory approval for cultivated is the first, and essential, step if Australian businesses are to reap the benefits of being first movers in this nascent industry.”
GOOD Meat, one of the companies behind the application to the US Government for approval, has been selling cultivated meat in Singapore since 2020 and will be guest speakers at Food Frontier’s AltProteins 23 conference in October.
Media contact: Kathy Cogo, Head of Communications and Marketing, Food Frontier
email@example.com, 0466 015 183.
Cultivated meat is meat grown directly from animal cells. It is created by reproducing the biological process of cell growth that happens within an animal in a bioreactor, enabling us to create these foods directly from a small sample of animal cells. Cultivated meat is identical to conventional meat at the cellular level.
Food Frontier is the independent think tank on alternative proteins in Australia and New Zealand. Funded by grants and donations, our work is growing our region’s protein supply with new, sustainable and nutritious options that create value for businesses, farmers and consumers.