There are already pure “viandars”, flexitarians, vegetarians, vegans…Soon, another term may have to be invented for those who eat artificially produced meat. Pure science fiction fantasy? Not at all, since the American start-up Upside Foods, which cultivates animal cells to produce meat without killing animals, received a green light on Wednesday for its manufacturing methods from the agency in charge of food security to UNITED STATES (FDA).
“We launched Upside into a world filled with skeptics and today we are making history again by becoming the first company to receive this letter from the FDA for cultured meat” in the laboratorywelcomed Uma Valeti, the co-founder and general manager, quoted in a press release from the Californian company.
Far from vegetarian “steaks”
“This is a major step towards a new era in meat production and I am excited that American consumers may soon have the chance to eat delicious meat produced directly from animal cells,” he said. -he adds. In practice, Upside Foods still has many hurdles to clear, including inspections from the US Department of Agriculture, before it can sell its products.
The FDA has “carefully” evaluated the data and information provided by the company on its methods and has “no additional questions at this stage about its conclusions in terms of security “, said the authority in its own press release. But “this consultation does not constitute an approval process”, specifies the agency.
Several start-ups 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 that of intensive farming, and without animal suffering. These products differ from substitutes of plant origin, such as soy-based steaks and other ingredients that mimic the texture and flavor of meat, but do not contain animal protein.
The start-up Eat Just, a competitor of Upside Foods, is the first to have received authorization to market artificial meat, Singaporein 2020. Last May, it struck a deal with an equipment manufacturer to develop giant vats where it hopes to produce chicken and beef meat on a large scale.