Israel Becomes First Country To Approve Sale of Lab-Grown Beef


An Israeli company has received a green light from health officials to produce and sell the world’s first steaks made from cultivated beef cells.

The beef will be grown from cells derived from a fertilized egg from a Black Angus cow who lives on a farm in California.

The development, announced last week by Israel’s Health Ministry, was hailed as “a global breakthrough” by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The move follows approval of lab-grown chicken in the U.S. last year.

RT reports: The ministry said the approval was part of a pilot program for alternative protein carried out by the Department of Food Risk Management. It also cited the growing global demand for “products of non-living origin,” adding it is working to approve alternative food sources. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called the development “a global breakthrough” and “important news for food security, environmental protection, and concern for animals.”

Aleph Farms, which was granted the go-ahead, will make the beef from cells derived from a fertilized egg from a cow named Lucy, a Black Angus that lives on a California farm. However, it could take months before the product is served to diners as regulators must still approve the company’s labels and conduct a final inspection.

“Addressing common challenges such as food security will be the best way to ensure the prosperity of the Middle East region, as well as other regions around the world that are significantly dependent on food imports, with an emphasis on Asia,” Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia was quoted as saying by the Times of Israel.

Creating cultivated, or ‘cell-cultured’ meat, also known as lab-grown meat, could help reduce the environmental impacts of conventional meat production, proponents claim. However, producing such meat on a large scale would mean high costs, experts indicate.

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