Singapore has given U.S. start-up Eat Just the green light to sell its lab-grown chicken meat, in what the firm says 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. Plant-based substitutes, popularised by the likes of Beyond Meat, Impossible Foods, and Quorn, increasingly feature on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus.
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.
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 over the next decade by supporting high-tech farming and new means of food production.