Consistent global regulations essential to bring cell-based meat into the mainstream

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Credit: Gizmodo
Credit: Gizmodo

Singapore’s historical approval of cell-based meat late last year spurred industry momentum, but there remains a lack of clarity on global regulations, said Harini Venkataraman, PhD, analyst at Lux Research and author of [a new] report.

“I’d say that until 2020, cell-based meat was up in the air, maybe a fantasy and not a commercial reality,” Dr. Venkataraman said. “What happened with Singapore’s approval is that it opened the doors for other countries to really think about it and start looking at the commercial angle.”

The United States has been one of the leading countries in terms of thinking about cell-based regulation, Dr. Venkataraman said. An important development came in 2019, when the US Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration released a formal agreement to create a joint regulatory framework for cell-based meat product approval.

In the European Union, cell-based meat will be regulated as part of the EU’s Novel Food Regulation published in 2018. While this streamlined process allows for EU-wide approval, it requires at least 18 to 24 months.

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“Although countries like Singapore and Israel have favorable regulatory landscapes, these small markets will not be enough for widespread adoption and market penetration,” Dr. Venkataraman said. “Larger nations will need to remove regulatory barriers to unlock a mass market.”

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