What we still need to know about ‘alternative’ meats


“Alternative Proteins” are a hot topic right now; the media, business and farmers are looking at the future of these products and their potential impact on the animal protein sector. The products fall into two groups: plant-based, which are currently on the market; and “lab grown” or “cultured,” which are derived from animal cells and are still in the development stage…

Developing a clear understanding of these products is critical. Both plant-based and cultured products are often promoted as being more sustainable, environmentally friendly, ethical and “pro- animal” than traditionally produced meat. These claims are generally accepted without challenge by interested consumers but have not been subject to rigorous examination.

Particularly regarding cultured products, there are a lot of unanswered questions…We need to know the animal source of the cell lines used and the inputs used in replicating them outside an animal. How are they “fed”? Are antibiotics used, and if not, how can manufacturers be allowed to call these products “clean”?

Related article:  Viewpoint: Ideology, politics pollute the debate over health risks of red meat

…Since cultured products…have not yet hit the market, there is a question about whether they should be regulated by the FDA or by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Proponents of the products want them regulated by the FDA. This is not surprising since FDA regulation will give them far less scrutiny in both inspection of the production process and the making of label claims.

Read full, original article: Fake Pork for Breakfast?

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