USDA Approves “Lab-Grown” Chicken for Sale in the United States

Two Bill Gates-backed companies say they will begin production immediately

Without much fanfare, the USDA approved lab-grown chicken at the end of June.

So far, two companies funded by Bill Gates — Good Meat and Upside Foods — have had packaging labels approved for their lab-grown chicken.

The companies will roll out their products at partnered restaurants, including Chef Jose Andrés’ line of restaurants in Washington DC before they reach grocery store shelves.

Also known as cellular meat, production of the lab meat involves retrieving stem cells from a live animal’s muscles, via a needle, and then “culturing” them in a nutrient-rich liquid.

The clusters of multiplying cells grow around a “scaffold,” which helps the tissue take on a desired shape — nuggets or patties, for example.

“The result is a product that looks and tastes like meat because it’s made from animal cells, rather than plant-based products,” the industry boasts.

An Israeli company called Future Meat Technologies has built its first lab-grown meat plant, in which it plans to use bioreactors to churn out cell-cultured meat for American restaurants.

Tyson and Cargill are the top two investors in lab-grown animal protein technology so far.

The American Meat Science Association worries that lab-grown protein is not as safe or nutritious as traditional meat.

The FDA quietly approved “lab-grown” meat in 2018, and now that the industry has gotten USDA approval, it’s time to start checking your labels to make sure you know what you’re eating!