Beef industry battles lab-grown meat for military menu

Jun 11, 2024

NCBA Questions DOD funding for Lab-Grown meat research


The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) recently voiced strong opposition to a research grant awarded by the Department of Defense (DOD). This grant will support the development of lab-grown meat products for potential use in military rations, a move that has angered cattle producers.

The NCBA sees this research as a potential threat to their industry and a disregard for the quality of food served to military personnel. Ethan Lane, the NCBA's Vice President of Government Affairs, criticized the project as an unnecessary expense that disrespects American taxpayers.

Mr. Lane highlighted the high quality and low environmental impact of U.S. beef, questioning why the DOD wouldn't choose this readily available protein source. He expressed concern that lab-grown meat, produced in "chemical-filled bioreactors," is an inferior alternative to "wholesome, natural meat."

The NCBA fears that lab-grown meat could become a cheaper alternative to traditional beef, jeopardizing the livelihoods of American cattle ranchers. They believe the research undermines the dedication of veterans and active-duty troops who deserve the best quality food available.

This controversy reflects the ongoing debate regarding lab-grown meat as a potential future protein source. While some view it as a sustainable option, the cattle industry, as represented by the NCBA, raises concerns about its impact on traditional agriculture and the quality of food served to those who serve.

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