World’s first regulatory approval for cultivated meat begins ‘new space race for the future of food’
2 December 2020
The Singapore Food Agency has announced that cultivated chicken produced by Eat Just, a company that applies cutting-edge science and technology to create healthier, more sustainable foods, has been approved for sale in the country after a rigorous consultation and review process.
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has announced that cultivated chicken produced by Eat Just, a company that applies cutting-edge science and technology to create healthier, more sustainable foods, has been approved for sale in the country after a rigorous consultation and review process.
Cultivated meat is exactly the same as the beef, pork, chicken and seafood we enjoy eating today – but grown directly from animal cells, instead of raising, feeding and slaughtering animals. The result is identical to conventional meat at the cellular level, but produced using a fraction of the land, water, feed and climate emissions, and free of pathogens and antibiotics.
This approval means people in Singapore will soon have the option of eating the chicken they want without the adverse global health and environmental costs of farm animal production.
The first-ever cultivated beef burger was unveiled in London in 2013, and cultivated meat startups across Europe have made enormous progress since then. International NGO the Good Food Institute Europe is working with governments at national and EU levels to create a clear pathway to market for cultivated meat across Europe and secure R&D investment to advance these sustainable proteins.
Space race for cultivated meat
The Good Food Institute Executive Director Bruce Friedrich said: “Singapore has thrown down the gauntlet and other countries need to pick it up. Cultivated meat will mark an enormous advance in our efforts to create a food supply that is safe, secure, and sustainable, and Singapore is leading the way on this transition.
“A new space race for the future of food is underway. As nations race to divorce meat production from industrial animal agriculture, countries that delay their investment in this bright food future risk getting left behind. The rest of the world should be following Singapore’s lead by funding alternative protein research and working with companies to ensure a rigorous and thorough path to regulatory approval and oversight.
“We are delighted but not surprised to see the rigour that went into this approval, as well as the testing and the consistent success of producing significant amounts of cultivated meat without antibiotics. It’s critical for cultivated meat companies to be extra-careful and to go beyond public expectation in ensuring the safety and consumer comfort with their products.”
The Good Food Institute Associate Director of Regulatory Affairs Elizabeth Derbes said: “The fact that this domino effect is starting in Singapore is no surprise. The Singapore Food Agency has long been in the vanguard of global regulators in its study of the cultivated meat industry and its careful consideration of the best approach for regulating cultivated meat, poultry, and seafood products.
“We are confident that SFA’s safety standards for these groundbreaking foods have been carefully calibrated to ensure consumer safety. Singapore is known for its science-forward regulation, and regulators around the world will likely sit up and take notice of a framework released by the SFA.”