In this file:


·         Bay Area companies race to get the first cell-based ‘meat’ to market

You could call it a meat race…


·         Cell-culture Technology and Potential Impacts on Livestock Production

Cellular agriculture has quickly metamorphized from an internet curiosity to a serious policy issue, and producers and consumers alike are looking for greater clarity about what this new technology might mean for their business, as well as their dinner table…


·         Viewpoint: Lab-grown meat isn’t as ‘clean’ as you might think



Bay Area companies race to get the first cell-based ‘meat’ to market


Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle  

Jan. 6, 2019


You could call it a meat race.


A select group of Bay Area and international companies is vying to get the first cell-based meat to market: that is, a meat product created entirely with in-vitro cells derived from chicken, fish, beef or pork, rather than from slaughtered animals. Proponents say the technology promises to be a more sustainable, safe and humane way to feed the world’s booming population of meat eaters.


“I was thinking, ‘Are we walking on the moon?’ It was like a voyage of discovery,” Chris Jones says of his first taste of the chicken cells produced at San Francisco’s Just Inc. formerly called Hampton Creek, where he is vice president of product development. “It’s pure. It’s clean. It’s like if you took chicken to its most intense point.”


At Just’s Mission District headquarters, Jones, a former restaurant chef, is leading a team that is figuring out how to turn those chicken cells into a nugget that is aimed squarely at carnivores — and one that he hopes will debut in restaurants in 2019.


Yet there are some barriers: Not a single country in the world has approved the technology yet. The science needs to develop to get production to scale, and perhaps most important, the public needs to be convinced of the idea. But at least four Bay Area companies are determined that cell-based meat, which differs from plant-based alternatives like the Impossible Burger because it contains cells derived from animals, is the way of the future, and that the future is very near.


Last month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would jointly oversee the regulation of cell-based meat — also known as cultured or lab-grown meat — which Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has said could begin as soon as 2019. And while the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and other industry groups have urged the USDA not to allow such products to be called “beef” or “meat,” a few global food corporations have gotten on board. Tyson Foods and Cargill have both invested in Memphis Meats, a Berkeley cell-based meat company that has raised over $20 million in funding.


With recent climate-related wildfires and a U.N. report warning of an ever-more escalated pace of climate change, Bay Area entrepreneurs say the meat revolution can’t happen soon enough. Traditional animal-based agriculture is responsible for 14.5 percent of human-made global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, and many say it can’t meet rising demand...


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Cell-culture Technology and Potential Impacts on Livestock Production


Jonathan A. Campbell, Tara L. Felix, Elizabeth Hines, And Robert M. Chiles, Penn State University

via FarmJournal's Pork - January 3, 2019


Cellular agriculture has quickly metamorphized from an internet curiosity to a serious policy issue, and producers and consumers alike are looking for greater clarity about what this new technology might mean for their business, as well as their dinner table.


The introduction of cell-culture based food products is likely to bring substantial changes to meat processing and the livestock production agriculture sector. Recently, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have joined forces to share oversight of the cellular based meat industry. These two federal agencies together will regulate cell cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry tissue based on the respective regulatory expertise of the organizations. A joint statement released last month by the two agencies said they would be working together to “foster these innovative food products and maintain the highest standards of public health.” The FDA will be in charge of regulating the collection, banking and growing of the cells used to make artificial meat, while the USDA will work on the production and labeling of food products.


Due to the increasing complexity of modern food production and governance, the conversation around cell-cultured food technology might be confusing. This article will provide you with useful background information on the scientific history and current state of cell-culture technology in food production. In addition, an overview of the implications of this technology on meat product labeling, meat production, and livestock agriculture will be provided.


Current State of Cell-culture Meat Production


The application of cell-culture based food production is possible through utilizing bioengineering processes that have already been well established in both food and pharmaceuticals. Application of cell-culture technology into meat production shares similar objectives with the modern livestock and meat production industries: maximize production and minimize inputs. In traditional livestock production, improvements to efficiency of tissue production has been accomplished through selective breeding, specialized nutrition programs, improved housing facilities, and advanced veterinary care Cell-cultured meat production seeks to further improve efficiency by optimizing the energy and resource expenditures devoted to building fat and muscle, while eliminating the need to fuel growth of other animal tissues that are considered low value food products in the current American marketplace.


The field of cell-cultured tissue production has been well established in the bioengineering and pharmaceutical production. The application of this technology to meat production, however, has emerged only recently. Pioneering efforts in cell-cultured meat production were inspired two Australian bioengineers who showcased this possibility at an art exhibit in the early 2000s. Specifically, production of cell-cultured meat featured in the art exhibit involved the construction of muscle utilizing embryonic stem cells, on specialty scaffolding, and application of appropriate nutrition and stimulation were able to form muscle fibers that make up the meat product. This conceptual demonstration inspired others to consider the possibility of scaling their technique to an industrial level. Small working groups of tissue engineers and meat scientists continued to advance the field from the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s, either through spin-offs projects on medical research grants or through direct funding from private investors and government research agencies. In 2009, it was reported that the first in vitro pork fillet was produced at Eindhoven University in Holland; however, the fillet was not considered to be fit for human consumption. In 2013, a momentous breakthrough occurred when the first ever cell culture-based beef burger was presented to a celebrity chef at a widely publicized taste test. This event drew journalists, scientists, meat processors, and venture capitalists from around the globe, and their contributions ultimately generated hundreds of millions of dollars that have been invested in cell-culture based agriculture in recent years. To date, while there are now several dozens of cell-culture based meat production companies, including JUST, Memphis Meats, and Mosa Meats, these companies have yet to roll out a product that is ready for public distribution.


The Issue with Labeling and Regulation ...


Actions Taken ...


Are Livestock in Limbo? ...


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Viewpoint: Lab-grown meat isn’t as ‘clean’ as you might think


Alison Van Eenennaam | Genetic Literacy Project

January 7, 2019


A battle royale is brewing over what to call animal cells grown in cell culture for food. Should it be in-vitro meat, cellular meat, cultured meat or fermented meat? What about animal-free meat, slaughter-free meat, artificial meat, synthetic meat, zombie meat, lab-grown meat, non-meat or artificial muscle proteins?


Then there is the polarizing “fake” versus “clean” meat framing that boils this complex topic down to a simple good versus bad dichotomy. The opposite of fake is of course the ambiguous but desirous “natural.” And modeled after “clean” energy, “clean” meat is by inference superior to its alternative, which must logically be “dirty” meat.


The narrative posited by (for now let us call it) cultured meat proponents is that animal agriculture requires large amounts of land and water, and produces high levels of greenhouse gases (GHG). The environmental impacts of a product, such as a beef hamburger, is then compared to the anticipatory ones for producing a cultured hamburger patty through tissue engineering-based cellular agriculture.


I research how biotechnology can improve livestock production, and while it is true that conventional meat production has a large environmental footprint, the problem with this dichotomous framing is that it overlooks the rest of the story.


Cattle produce more than just hamburgers for well-off consumers, and they typically do so by utilizing rain-fed forage growing on non-arable land. Additionally, cellular hamburger patties are themselves not an environmental impact-free lunch, especially from the perspective of energy use.


Energy inputs versus methane ...


Cattle and land use ...


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