The U.S. Government agency responsible for food safety has declared a lab-grown meat product safe for the first time.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it didn’t find any evidence that the lab-grown meat was any worse in quality than products produced in traditional ways.
This does not mean the product can enter the market yet, but does remove one hurdle.
UPSIDE Foods, the company responsible for the lab-grown chicken, provided the FDA with their product for inspection in October last year.
In their submission, UPSIDE said the lab-grown meat was “as safe as a conventional poultry meat from a chicken carcass”.
This week, the FDA released its findings on the product, saying it had “no further questions” about the safety of the product.
Food products made using animal cells have been considered a future production source that could ease strains on the agriculture sector, support animal welfare, and alleviate environmental concerns.
However, some have argued that the science around lab-grown products requires more work before they can be rolled out for consumption. There’s also been concern about rising unemployment among agriculturalists.
Despite the FDA’s decision, UPSIDE’s lab-grown products cannot yet enter the U.S. food market.
Before this can happen, the product must meet other federal requirements. This would likely include inspections from the Department of Agriculture, which regulates meat and poultry products sold across U.S. states.