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Cell-cultivated meat has been approved for sale for the first time in the United States

Seven months after Upside Foods’ cell-cultivated chicken was granted FDA approval, now Upside Foods and Eat Just have been granted full USDA and FDA approval

In November 2022, Upside Foods (formerly known as Memphis Meats) became the first cell-cultivated meat company to pass the FDA approval milestone for its chicken product and was well on its way to selling products in grocery stores and restaurants. Now in June 2023, both Upside Foods and competitor Eat Just and its cultivated chicken product Good Meat have received full FDA and USDA approval (Eat Just received its ‘no questions’ letter from the FDA in March), signaling that both can begin selling their products to American consumers.

Cell-cultivated meat is the industry-preferred term, but the products have been referred to as lab-created and cell-cultured meat. It is a form of cellular agriculture that allows for the growth of animal tissue from cells invitro, which would essentially allow scientists to “grow” animal meat products that do not involve animal husbandry or slaughter. The technology has been seen as a humane and eco-friendly solution to a growing global hunger crisis.

“This announcement that we’re now able to produce and sell cultivated meat in the United States is a major moment for our company, the industry and the food system,” Josh Tetrick, cofounder and CEO of Good Meat and Eat Just. We have been the only company selling cultivated meat anywhere in the world since we launched in Singapore in 2020, and now it's approved to sell to consumers in the world's largest economy. We appreciate the rigor and thoughtfulness that both the FDA and USDA have applied during this historic two-agency regulatory process.”

Additionally, Chef José Andrés announced Friday morning a partnership with Good Meat and committed to serving the cell-cultivated poultry at one of his restaurants in Washington, D.C.:

"This is an extraordinary moment for the future of our planet,” Andrés said. “We have taken a significant step forward, a giant leap in fact, towards feeding our communities in a sustainable way.  I'm proud to be a part of GOOD Meat's mission and soon the people of Washington, D.C. will be able to taste for themselves at China Chilcano.” 

The news has been celebrated by Upside Foods as well, who announced that “history has been made” and will be partnering with Chef Dominique Crenn, who will be selling the company’s cell-cultivated chicken product at her restaurant Bar Crenn, in San Francisco. Upside Foods said it will begin commercial production of both whole and ground chicken product immediately at its Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center, which opened in 2021 in San Francisco as a pilot-scale facility.

"We at Upside Foods have long championed the dual regulatory jurisdiction of FDA and USDA, starting with a historic partnership with the North American Meat Institute in 2018,” Dr. Eric Schulze, vice president of global and scientific affairs at Upside Foods said in a statement. “Since then, our team has been working diligently with both agencies to bring our cultivated chicken to market. We are grateful for the FDA's and USDA's thoughtful and rigorous review processes, which have enabled us to start bringing safe, delicious, and high-quality cultivated meat products to market in the U.S."

Contact Joanna Fantozzi at [email protected]

TAGS: Technology
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