UPSIDE Foods is allowed to take chicken cells and produce food in a controlled environment
By Diego Flammini
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared a path for some lab-grown meat products.
UPSIDE Foods, formerly known as Memphis Meats, a Berkeley, Calif. company, is allowed to take living cells from chickens and grow those cells in a controlled environment to produce food.
The FDA “evaluated the information submitted by UPSIDE Foods as part of a pre-market consultation for their food made from cultured chicken cells and has no further questions at this time about the firm’s safety conclusion,” the FDA said in a statement.
This is the first time the FDA has deemed lab-grown meat safe for consumption.
And the FDA’s ruling only applies to UPSIDE Foods.
The company submitted a premarket notice about a cultured chicken breast to the FDA in October 2021.
The 104-page document outlines the processes UPSIDE used to collect the cells and grow them in a controlled environment.
This FDA approval is an important step in bringing cultivated chicken to U.S. consumers.
"This is a watershed moment in the history of food," Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods, said in a statement. "This milestone marks a major step towards a new era in meat production, and I'm thrilled that U.S. consumers will soon have the chance to eat delicious meat that's grown directly from animal cells."
UPSIDE’s chicken product still needs USDA clearance before it can appear on store shelves.
To date, consumers in only one country can eat lab-grown meat.
In December 2020, Singapore granted Eat Just, a San Francisco, Calif. company, access to the country.
One restaurant in the country serves an Eat Just chicken bite.
Farms.com has contacted members of the U.S. ag sector for comment.