A startup gets the green light from the FDA to market artificial meat

These products seek to enable people to consume animal proteins, but with less impact on the environment and without animal suffering.


US startup Upside Foods , which grows animal cells to produce meat without killing animals , was given the green light for its manufacturing methods by the US food safety agency, the FDA , on Wednesday .

“We started Upside in a world full of skeptics, and today we have once again made history as the first company to receive an unquestioned letter from the FDA for lab-grown meat,” Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO, said in a statement. of the Californian company.

“This milestone marks a big step toward a new era in meat production, and I am excited that consumers in the United States will soon have the opportunity to eat delicious meat grown directly from animal cells,” she added.

In practice, Upside Foods still has many hurdles to overcome, including inspections by the US Department of Agriculture , before it can sell its products.

The FDA has “carefully” evaluated the data and information provided by the company about its methods and “has no further questions at this stage about its conclusions in terms of safety,” the food regulator said in its own news release.

But “this consultation does not constitute an approval process,” the agency specified.

There is quite a bit of competition in the lab meat business.

Several startups aim to produce and market so-called “laboratory” or artificial meat, to allow humans to consume animal protein with less impact on the environment than intensive farming, and without animal suffering.

These products differ from plant-based substitutes, such as soy-based “steaks” and other ingredients that mimic the texture and flavor of meat, but do not contain animal protein.

Startup Eat Just , a competitor to Upside Foods , was the first to receive permission to market artificial meat, in Singapore, in 2020.

Last May, it reached an agreement with an equipment manufacturer to develop giant tanks where it hopes to produce chicken and beef on a large scale.

While waiting to be able to serve humans laboratory meat -for the moment very complicated and very expensive to produce-, other companies want to conquer the pet food market, a priori less difficult to satisfy than their owners.

Bond Pet Foods , a Colorado startup, is creating animal protein from a fermentation process