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2 Dec, 2020 10:20

Singapore approves sale of lab-grown meat in ‘world first’, but some people aren’t convinced

Singapore approves sale of lab-grown meat in ‘world first’, but some people aren’t convinced

The Singapore Food Agency is the first regulatory body to approve the sale of cell-cultured chicken grown in a lab without the slaughter of any poultry. However, some people are skeptical of the product’s green credentials.

On Wednesday, sustainable food company East Just Inc. announced its cultured chicken has been given the green light to be sold in Singapore as an ingredient in chicken bites. 

Eat Just said in a press release that the firm has formed strategic partnerships with established local manufacturers in Singapore to produce cultured chicken cells and create the final product. 

The lab-grown meat will be sold first to restaurants before being made available to all customers. 

Co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said the product will be priced at premium chicken prices when it launches in a Singapore restaurant “in the very near term.” 

Production costs remain high as the technology is still in the nascent stage. The cultured meat is grown from animal muscles cells in a laboratory.  

Many people welcomed the announcement with open arms, describing the food’s approval as “history in the making.” 

Some were excited by the reported green credentials of the cultured meat.  

And while feedback appeared to be generally positive, some people remain unconvinced, questioning how many additives are needed to make the product. 

Others wondered whether the product would be accepted by vegans and vegetarians, as well as certain religious communities. 

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Tetrick claimed Singapore was a long way ahead of the US and Western Europe with regard to reviewing and approving cultured meat products, and praised the Singaporean government for their forward thinking. 

Singapore has embarked on a radical attempt to increase indigenous food production. 

In 2019, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) set the target of producing 30 percent of its own food needs by 2030, an increase from 10 percent at the time of announcement. 

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