From the perspective of bioethics, the research, development and production of cell cultured meat can help ensure the sustainable development of human society, improve animal welfare, reduce resource demand, improve the nutritional function of meat products, and provide new growth points for the development of other industries. In addition, the ethical risks of food safety, technology abuse and technical supervision involved in cell cultured meat production are put forward for deep consideration, hoping to provide reference for the sustainable development of artificial meat industry from the perspective of bioethics.
Companies developing sustainable meat and dairy alternatives smashed records with a €2.6B ($3.1B) haul last year. Why has it been such a bumper harvest?
In spite of the financial chaos resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic over the last 12 months, a staggering €2.6B ($3.1B) in funding went to companies in the meat and dairy alternatives sector, according to the nonprofit the Good Food Institute (GFI). This tripled 2019’s total.
Developers of plant-based alternatives reaped the lion’s share with €1.8B ($2.1B); biotechs producing protein via fermentation took a neat €497M ($590M); and more than €303M ($360M) backed companies developing cultured meat.
This week, food company BRF, S.A.—one of the largest meat suppliers in the world—signed a deal with Israel-based cultured meat company Aleph Farms to bring its innovative lab-grown meat to Brazil. Under the Memorandum of Understanding agreement, BRF will co-develop and produce lab-grown meat in one of Aleph Farms’ BioFarm platforms. While traditional animal agriculture requires many inputs and produces large amounts of greenhouse gases, Aleph Farms’ approach relies on a few animal cells that are grown in a bioreactor to create meat without the need to slaughter animals and with a much smaller environmental footprint.
British cell-based meat company CellulaREvolution has raised £1M in its latest funding round, with investors including Orange Light Ventures, CPT Capital, and the Northern Accelerator Seed Investment Fund.CPT Capital is particularly significant because it has previously invested in several highly successful cultured meat startups. These include BluNalu, Memphis Meats, and Aleph Farms.
In January, Aleph Farms signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group to explore the potential of cultivated meat in the increasingly meat-hungry Japan.“This MoU implements specific action items on future consumer acceptance and regulatory pathways. The end goal would be to manufacture and market cultivated meat to the Japanese consumers,” Toubia explained.
We’re excited to announce that we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Mitsubishi Corporation’s Food Industry Group to bring cultivated meat to the Japanese table. We will provide our proven, scalable manufacturing platform (BioFarm™) for cultivation of whole-muscle steaks. Mitsubishi Corporation will provide its expertise in biotechnology processes, branded food manufacturing, and local distribution channels in Japan.
Plant-based meats are well-known and accepted in China such as Baicaowei’s recent plant-based sausage snack and Jinzi’s plant-based patties, and Greater China countries have seen more advancement such as cell-based seafood firm Avant Meats in Hong Kong, but so far, cell-based meat is pretty much in its infancy in the country. Last year, the Nanjing Agricultural University reported that a team there had produced 5g of pork from muscle stem cells, but not much else about cultured meat has made headlines since then.
The New Harvest conference is hosted by the eponymous Brooklyn-based nonprofit, a leader in cellular agriculture. The education and research organization is funded by 600 donors, including the Zurich-based Avina Stiftung foundation, and previously, the South Africa-based Shuttleworth Foundation. During the last decade, it has awarded over $2 million to fund academic studies into the various technologies needed to grow meat in a lab, mostly located at universities in four countries (including the U.S. and Canada).