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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

FDA Concludes Voluntary Pre-Market Consultation on Cell-Cultured Chicken

11/20/2022

Following discussions, Upside Foods was informed by the FDA that the Agency accepts data supplied by the company and that there are no further questions at the current time concerning safety considerations.  It is emphasized that the conclusion of the review is not an FDA “approval” for either the product or cell-cultured meat in general. 

 

Despite optimistic predictions by the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation (AMPS), the industry group representing cultivated meat and protein products, final approval has yet to be granted by both the FDA and the USDA-FSIS, the Agency that will oversee production.  In addition, there are no definitive regulations that would be applied to govern the production of cultivated meat and seafood.  The AMPS noted that the Association “looks forward to continued progress by Upside and other companies to help expand safe and delicious food options for consumers and help support a more sustainable food supply”. 

 

It is far too early to phone a broker to buy shares in cultured meat startups even if they were available.  At this time relevant considerations include:-

 

  •  A realistic projection of the volume of cultivated meat and seafood that can be produced, especially in relation to the conventional meat products that they intend to displace.
  • An indication of the cost of items as delivered to the food service and consumer sectors.
  • An appraisal of organoleptic considerations including taste and the appearance and texture of both raw and cooked product.

 

Plant-based meat substitutes were intended to displace beef based on claims of welfare, sustainability and convenience.  A review of the financial performance of Beyond Meat and the Plant Protein segment of Maple Leaf Foods suggests that after an initial spurt of consumer interest, the curiosity factor that stimulated market growth was soon outweighed by non-competitive cost.  Even a two-fold differential between ground beef and the plant-based alternative has suppressed sales that peaked within three years after introduction, then plateaued and is now declining. 

 

There is a limited clientele for expensive boutique foods whether in the U.S. or in Singapore.  If cultivated meat is to make any impact on global warming, it will not be achieved through serving product to the affluent in Michelin-starred restaurants but in selling to consumers in supermarket display cases.


 
Copyright © 2022 Simon M. Shane