The United States may soon consume chicken created in a laboratory from cultivated animal cells, as opposed to chicken bred on a farm or in a facility.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated on Wednesday that California-based Upside Foods’ environmentally friendly chicken is safe to consume, but it has not yet been completely certified for sale.
As per the FDA, “Our goal is to foster innovation in food technologies while keeping the production of safe food as our top priority.” “Human food manufactured with cultured animal cells must fulfill the same rigorous standards, including safety standards, as all other foods.”
As reported by US News, using animal cell culture technology, the company intends to harvest living cells from chickens and cultivate them under regulated conditions.
The company led the FDA through its manufacturing procedure, generation of cell lines and cell banks, manufacturing controls, and all inputs and components.
According to the FDA, Upside’s production plant requires a permit of inspection from the United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) before its products may be certified for sale. The food itself must also bear the USDA-FSIS inspection mark.
The FDA is working closely with USDA-FSIS to ensure that the food is appropriately regulated and labeled. Dr. Uma Valeti, the CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods and a cardiologist, founded the company while working for the Mayo Clinic to cultivate human heart cells in a laboratory.
In a statement, he referred to the new product as a “watershed moment in the history of food,” as reported by CBS News. The California plant can generate more than 50,000 pounds of chicken annually, according to CBS News.
Now, the FDA has stated that it is willing to engage with more companies to create animal cell-based foods and production procedures.
“We encourage companies to have these discussions with us frequently and early in their product and process development phases, well before submitting anything to us,” the FDA added.
According to the FDA, multiple companies working on diverse meals using grown animal cells are already communicating with the agency. This includes food manufactured from marine cells, which would be overseen completely by the FDA, according to CBS News.