Lab-Grown Meat

How do you like your burger?  Rare, medium, or lab-created?  I’m Amy E. Feldman.

Singapore just became the first country in the world to issue approval for lab-grown meat.  Not quite vegetarian, not hunted or slaughtered either, lab-created meat is grown in a laboratory by culturing muscle tissue from animal stem cells.  The process has created many novel legal issues for regulators, including whether it can even be called meat, and figuring out who will regulate it—the FDA, which oversees cell culture technology or the USDA, which regulates livestock and poultry.

Even once the regulatory framework is set, though, there’s still the task of creating regulations which hadn’t been seen as a huge rush because the production costs were high—but with prices quickly declining and cultivated meat startups rising—not to mention approval by Singapore authorities, which may put pressure on US officials to stay on trend, cultured meat may find its way to a plate near you sooner than expected.

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