“Biggest Barrier” to Cell-Cultured Meat Is the “Difficult Regulatory Landscape” Created by Lobbyists

(p. 12) We should try to get beyond our disgust about “lab meat,” argues the journalist Chase Purdy, who is in the rare position of having actually tasted it. In a fast-paced global narrative, Purdy follows the various cell-cultured meat companies that are currently competing to get their product to market first. The front-runners are in Israel, the Netherlands and (no surprise) Silicon Valley.

. . .

Up until now, the biggest obstacle to getting cultured meat on the market has been the sheer expense — hence the “billion dollar burger” of Purdy’s hyperbolic title. When the first lab-grown burger was unveiled in 2013 by a panel including the Dutch food scientist Mark Post, it was estimated to have cost $330,000 for a single five-ounce patty: equivalent to $1.2 million per pound of beef. But that cost is falling, and fast. In 2019 an Israeli firm called Future Meat Technologies claimed that by 2022, it would be able to get cell-cultured meat on the market for as little as $10 a pound.

. . .

Purdy says that the biggest barrier to getting these products to market in the United States is “a difficult regulatory landscape” influenced by meat lobbyists with a strong vested interest in keeping cell-cultured meat off the shelves.

For the full review, see:

Bee Wilson. “Frankenburger.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, July [sic] 19, 2020): 12.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the review was updated June [sic] 18, 2020, and has the title “Are You Ready to Eat Meat Grown in a Lab?”)

The book under review is:

Purdy, Chase. Billion Dollar Burger: Inside Big Tech’s Race for the Future of Food. New York: Portfolio, 2020.

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