Saturday, June 15, 2024

US approval of cultivated meat a ‘momentous achievement’

The US Department of Agriculture has granted official safety approval for the sale of cultivated meat, a move described by Food Frontier as a “momentous achievement” for the cultivated meat industry worldwide.

The US is 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,” says Food Frontier. “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.

Food Frontier Executive Director 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.

“With our highly active food systems innovation and technical initiatives, Australia has the potential to lead the way on the global stage,” he says.

“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.”

Mr Eassom adds that 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,” he says.

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