The US approved a meat product grown from animal cells

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go-ahead for an Upside Foods product

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The US has approved a meat product grown from animal cells

A hamburger made with cultured meat (Reuters)

The US Food and Drug Administration ( The FDA has for the first time cleared a meat product grown from animal cells for human consumption, the agency announced Wednesday.

UPSIDE Foods, a company that makes cultured chicken from cells of live animals and uses them to grow meat in stainless steel tanks, it will be able to bring its products to market once they have been inspected by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to an FDA statement.< /p>

“The world is experiencing a food revolutionand the (FDA) is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply,” FDA Commissioner Robert Califf and Susan Mayne, director of FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, said in a statement.

The US approved a meat product grown from animal cells

A dumpling made with a seafood grown in a laboratory (REUTERS/Travis Teo)

The FDA said in documents released Wednesday that it had reviewed the company's data and had no further questions about the company's conclusion that its product is safe for human consumption.

“We are delighted with the FDA's announcement,” David Kay, UPSIDE's director of communications, said in an email. “This historic step paves the way to market.”

The review is not technically an approval and applies only to UPSIDE products, though the agency is willing to work with other companies developing foods from cultured animal cells, the FDA said in a statement.

USDA and FDA jointly regulate cell-cultured meat under a 2019 agreement between the two agencies. USDA will oversee the processing and labeling of cell-cultured meat products.

Demand for alternatives to farm-raised meat has grown along with awareness of the high emissions of greenhouse gases from livestock farming. Cultured chicken was served to attendees at this year's COP27 climate conference in Egypt.

What is cultured meat

Synthetic or cultured meat, also called “clean” meat, refers to meat obtained through agriculture or industrial tissue culture. The process consists of isolating progenitor cells from a small sample of animal muscle and multiplying them in the laboratory.

On the other hand, a similar procedure is performed with tissue precursor cells fat, which makes it possible to obtain cultivated fatty tissue. Combining both tissues in adequate and different proportions, a product is achieved that is very similar to traditional meat.

Meat synthetic allows food to be produced in a sustainable way not occupying large tracts of land. On the other hand, a second matter that is not minor is the elimination of water consumption that animal husbandry requires.

It could also reduce, almost 100%, the emission of greenhouse gases generated throughout the meat production chain.

The nutritional value and taste of meat are strongly linked to the content of muscle fibers, protein and fat that compose it Since both tissues are grown separately (muscle and fat) and then properly combined, trying to imitate natural meat, a product is obtained that is nutritionally similar and tastes almost the same as meat.< /p>

There is also the possibility of controlling this fat content and its composition, being able to establish nutritional categories of the products, which would give them an advantage over traditional meat.

< p class="paragraph">(With information from Reuters)

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