Singapore has given U.S. start-up Eat Just the green light to sell its lab-grown chicken meat, in what the firm on Wednesday said is the world’s first regulatory approval for so-called clean meat that does not come from slaughtered animals.
The meat, to be sold as nuggets, will be priced at premium chicken prices when it first launches in a restaurant in Singapore “in the very near term,” co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick said.
Demand for alternatives to regular meat is surging due to concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment. But so-called clean or cultured meat, which is grown from animal muscle cells in a lab, is still at a nascent stage given high production costs.
Elaine Siu, the managing director of the Good Food Institute Asia Pacific, a non-profit organization that promotes cultivated meat and plant-based substitutes for animal products, confirmed to the New York Times that this is the first time a country has given “regulatory approval for a cultivated meat product.”
Singapore, a city state of 5.7 million, currently only produces about 10 per cent of its food but has set out ambitious plans to raise that figure over the next decade by supporting high-tech farming and new means of food production.