News from CRIS: In the News - Cultivated Meat

March 28, 2023

What’s the media saying about cultivated meat?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has completed a second pre-market consultation for human food made using animal cell cultures, also known as cultivated meat. The pre-market consultation is one of the first steps to getting the food approved by the federal government for sale in the United States.
The next steps for companies include working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to ensure that food and food production meets and/or exceeds their safety regulations.
While this is exciting for cultivated meat companies, what does this mean for consumers? In this post, we take a high-level look at cultivated meat and seafood.

What are cultivated meats and seafood?

Cultivated meat and seafood is a type of meat created by scientists growing specific animal cells outside of an animal. 
Scientists create cultivated meat and seafood using an emerging branch of biotechnology called cellular agriculture (1). Cellular agriculture replicates the biological cell growth process to create meat and seafood.
Traditionally, meats come from animals like cows, pigs, and chickens born, raised, slaughtered, butchered, and packaged for use and distribution. 
Seafood foods like fish, shrimp, and crab are either farm-raised or wild-caught, slaughtered, processed, and packaged for use and distribution. 
Cultivated meat and seafood only need specific cells grown outside of an animal to create familiar meat products.

Learn more about cultivated meat: 

How does cellular agriculture work to create cultivated meat and seafood? 

  1. Scientists obtain cells, often by a small biopsy, from the animals they want to make cultivated meat and seafood from.
  2. Depending on the product and animal species, scientists may use technologies to modify these cells in a way that allows them to grow effectivelly outside of the animal in a bioreactor.
  3. Scientists put the cells in a bioreactor that may contain scaffolding to provide a matrix for cells to attach to and grow.
  4. The cells "feed" off growth media, which includes the nutrients and growth factors needed to promote cell growth.
  5. The cultivated meat and seafood are harvested from the bioreactor and ready for processing, distribution, and sale. 

Read more about the technology making cultivated meat possible:

Which organizations in the United States regulated cultivated meat and seafood?

In the U.S., the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) jointly regulate cultivated meat and seafood.  

The current structure of these departments means each agency will take on specific animal species undergoing cultivation, certain phases of the cultivation, harvesting, and packaging processes, and will consider if animals or humans will be consuming the resulting cultivated meat and seafood (1).


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