September 24, 2023

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A lab worker examining lab grown chicken, representing the USDA's approval of lab-grown chicken.
(Photo Credit: Frame Stock Footage/Shutterstock)

Lab-grown chicken sale overview: 

  • Who: The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture approved the sale of lab-grown chicken produced by California food tech companies Upside Foods and Good Meat. 
  • Why: Upside Foods and Good Meat will now be able to receive the federal inspections required to be able to sell meat and poultry products inside the U.S. 
  • Where: Nationwide.

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) has approved the sale of lab-grown chicken for the first time, paving the way for two California businesses to offer the meat created from animal cells, rather than slaughter. 

Food tech companies Upside Foods and Good Meat — who are in a race to be the first in the nation to sell lab-grown meat — will now be allowed to offer their so-called “cell-cultivated” or “cultured” meat, The Associated Press (AP) reports

The lab-grown meat movement has reportedly been driven by the goal of eliminating harm to animals and reducing harmful environmental impacts associated with the production of meat. 

Upside Foods and Good Meat, meanwhile, will now be able to receive the federal inspections necessary to be able to sell meat and poultry products in the U.S., according to the AP. 

“Instead of all of that land and all of that water that’s used to feed all of these animals that are slaughtered, we can do it in a different way,” Josh Tetrick, co-founder and chief executive of Eat Just, the parent company of Good Meat, said in a statement. 

FDA previously declared Upside Foods, Good Meats lab-grown chicken safe for humans

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already declared the lab-grown chicken — which is grown in steel tanks using cells from either a living animal, fertilized egg, or a special bank of stored cells — is safe for consumption, the AP reports. 

The FDA declared Upside Foods lab-grown chicken operation was safe for consumption last November, only months before clearing Good Meats “cultured chicken cell material” as safe for consumption, in March. 

“This approval will fundamentally change how meat makes it to our table. It’s a giant step forward towards a more sustainable future — one that preserves choice and life,” Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods, said in a November statement

Consumers should not expect to find lab-grown chicken in grocery stores in the U.S. anytime soon, however, since it is much more expensive than regular meat and cannot yet be produced on the same scale, according to the AP. 

In other news involving chicken, Sanderson Farms agreed to pay $17.75 million last month to resolve claims the poultry farming company worked with chicken producers to suppress the value of chicken-growing services, thereby short-changing broiler chicken growers. 

Are you interested in consuming lab-grown chicken? Let us know in the comments!

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