Describing the development as “a food revolution,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday said chicken produced using animal cell culture technology that takes living cells from chickens and grows the cells in a controlled environment is safe for human consumption.
Describing the development as “a food revolution,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Wednesday declared lab-grown chicken meat developed by Berkeley, California-based food-tech firm Upside Foods is safe for human consumption.
Upside Foods “will use animal cell culture technology to take living cells from chickens and grow the cells in a controlled environment to make the cultured animal cell food,” the FDA said.
The news — widely reported as an FDA “approval” of lab-grown meat — signifies the completion of the first, and biggest, of the three regulatory steps Upside Foods must complete before its “cultivated” chicken attains full approval and can be sold to the public, according to TIME.
Although two more steps must follow before the FDA can grant the product full approval, the agency’s language suggests the approval is a foregone conclusion.
Upside Foods, on its website, all but confirmed that FDA approval is on the way:
“This landmark regulatory decision means the FDA accepts our safety conclusion, and Upside’s cultivated chicken will be available following USDA inspection and label approval.”
The FDA and some media outlets cheered the news — but others, including scientists and food safety advocates, expressed concerns about the adequacy of the FDA’s preliminary review process.