Lab-grown meat produced by cellular agriculture

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Lab-grown meat produced by cellular agriculture has received a major endorsement from expert panels that insist it can be labeled kosher and halal, provided it can credit its cell sourcing. and conform to religious standards in production methods.

The development is significant because it opens the door for observant followers of Judaism and Islam to potentially consume lab-grown meat products in the future.

Kosher foods are those that conform to the Jewish dietary laws of kashrut (dietary law). The laws of kashrut apply to foods derived from living organisms, and kosher foods are limited to certain types of mammals, birds, and fish that meet certain criteria. Meat from any animal that does not meet these standards is forbidden under dietary laws.

Recognition from these expert panels represents a positive milestone for the emerging cultured meat industry, as it seeks to expand its presence and reach.

Currently, cultured meat is only available in limited quantities in the US and Singapore. However, industry players are optimistic that with increased investment from both private and public sources, they can scale up production and influence dietary habits globally.

Cultured meat is fundamentally different from conventionally produced meat. It is produced from animal cells that are cultured in nutrient-rich solutions in a controlled environment, such as steel vats.

This method eliminates the need for resource-intensive industrial farming and traditional slaughterhouses in line with the values of vegetarians, vegans, and environmentally conscious meat consumers.

A prominent player in this field, GOOD Meat, engaged a panel of three Shariah experts to determine that farmed meat can be considered halal, provided certain conditions are met.

These conditions also stipulate that the cells used for meat production come from animals slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law.

Although GOOD Meat’s Chicken does not currently meet this standard, the order provides a road map for the industry to produce halal-compliant products in the future.

Additionally, the Orthodox Union (OU), the largest kosher certification agency, recently deemed farmed chicken produced by the Israeli company SuperMeat to meet its standards.

The certification was based on the fact that the chicken cells were obtained from fertilized eggs before any blood spots appeared and did not contain ingredients derived from animals. SuperMeat is now collaborating with the OU to establish industry wide guidelines.

Kosher and halal dietary restrictions are followed by millions of people in the United States, making these certifications critical for market access.

According to the Orthodox Union and Islamic Services of America, a halal certification agency, more than 12 million people in the United States consume kosher products, and 8 million consume halal products.

Additionally, regulators in the United States have approved farmed chicken for consumption, with select high-end restaurants already adding it to their menus.

As the laboratory-grown meat industry continues to grow and gain acceptance, it has the potential to address nutritional and sustainability concerns while meeting the preferences and needs of different consumer segments.

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