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US approves lab-grown chicken

The United States has made headlines around the world by approving the sale of chicken meat grown in a laboratory.

The Associated Press said the approval by US regulators would allow two companies to offer “lab-grown” meat to the nation’s restaurant tables and, eventually, supermarket shelves. It is now being referred to as “cell-cultivated” or “cultured” meat.

Cultivated meat is grown in steel tanks, using cells that come from a living animal, a fertilized egg or a special bank of stored cells.

One of the approved companies produces it in large sheets that are then formed into shapes like chicken cutlets and sausages. The other, which already sells cultivated meat in Singapore, the first country to allow it, turns masses of chicken cells into cutlets, nuggets, shredded meat and satays.

However, said AP, this novel meat would not reach American grocery stores anytime soon.

Cultivated chicken is much more expensive than meat from whole, farmed birds and cannot yet be produced on the scale of traditional meat, according to Ricardo San Martin, director of the Alt:Meat Lab at University of California Berkeley.

Image courtesy of Upside Foods