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The race to grow meat without slaughtering animals—can genetic engineering help?

| | November 2, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

Operating with a team of just 10 (though it’s expected to grow to 40 in a matter of months), [Memphis Meats] has already cultivated and harvested edible beef, chicken, and duck in its bioreactors, a feat no one else has achieved. Even allowing for the vagaries of regulation–it’s not clear which federal agency will oversee a foodstuff that’s real meat but not from animals–the company expects to have a product in stores by 2021.

Another Silicon Valley startup, Impossible Foods, has raised almost $300 million for a veggie burger that browns like ground beef and even “bleeds” when served rare, thanks to the presence of heme, a com­ponent of the blood molecule hemoglobin, which is also found in plants.

“They’re going to have to somehow position it as something worth paying more for,” says Patty Johnson, an analyst who covers the meat industry for Mintel Group. One possibility, she says: Like Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats could persuade influential chefs to feature its wares on their menus. Another would be genetically engineering nutritional profiles so the company could tout increased health benefits–adding, say, omega-3 fatty acids to beef to make it as healthy as salmon.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Why This Cardiologist Is Betting That His Lab-Grown Meat Startup Can Solve the Global Food Crisis

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