Seafood Without The Sea: Will Lab-Grown Fish Hook Consumers?

| | May 7, 2019
FINLESS TASTING CUT
Finless Foods hosts a tasting of edible fish grown from cells in September 2017. Image: Finless Foods
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[In April], the Impossible Burger marked a meatless milestone with its debut as a Burger King Whopper. Meanwhile, Lou Cooperhouse was in a San Diego office park quietly forging plans to disrupt another more fragmented and opaque sector of the food industry: seafood.

His company, BlueNalu …. is racing to bring to market what’s known as cell-based seafood — that is, seafood grown from cells in a lab, not harvested from the oceans. BlueNalu is aiming for serious scalability …. enough cell-based seafood to meet the consumption demands of more than 10 million nearby residents.

“Consumers are changing. They’re looking at health. They’re focused on the planet. This is not a fad or a trend — this is happening,” says Cooperhouse. “We will produce real seafood products directly from fish cells.”

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Cooperhouse’s partner in BlueNalu, Chris Somogyi, is confident the products won’t end up languishing within the FDA for years, the way AquaBounty’s genetically modified salmon did “…. We’re not introducing a new entity that doesn’t exist in nature,” he says. “The approval will be about whether this is safe, clean and are the manufacturing processes reliable and accountable.”

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