Singapore has become the first country to approve the sale of chicken made entirely from cultured cells in a lab, technology developed by Eat Just, which is planning to bring out the cellular grown meat division under the label GOOD Meat. Eat Just is also the maker of everyone's favorite vegan egg alternative, JUST Egg, made from mung bean, but the company found it essential to delineate between the two product lines because, unlike Eat Just's egg alternative, GOOD Meat is not technically a plant-based product, but rather a cruelty-free animal product that does not require any birds to be harmed in production.

Eat Just Launches Lab-Grown Meat Division

Singapore approved the sale of GOOD Meat’s chicken product after extensive safety reviews. Although other companies have developed products using cellular meat technology, GOOD Meat is the first to be approved for sale. In 2019, the US FDA announced a plan to collaborate with US-based companies like BlueNalu and Memphis Meats that use the same cellular technology to ensure the products were safe for consumption, however, thus far, no cellular derived protein products have been approved for sale in the US.

The CEO of Eat Just Inc, Josh Tetrick, is excited about the product launch in the Singapore market, saying in a statement, “We want Singapore to be the focus of our manufacturing globally. They’re just really forward-thinking in building an enabling environment for this kind of work.” Just Meat is launching their chicken in partnership with a fast-food chain, and it will be served in the form of chicken nuggets, labeled as “cultured chicken.”

Tetrick hopes that Singapore’s approval of the product for sale on the market will encourage US regulators to do the same, saying, “I think they will hear what’s happening, and it will probably light a fire under them. Singapore decided they wanted to get in on this. They spent two years developing a rigorous regulatory process, and they applied it to us. They will apply it to other products, and other companies will want to apply too. Singapore has established itself as a leader.”

If Tetrick’s wish comes true, you might be able to try “cultured chicken” for yourself soon. Luckily, until then, there has been an explosion of plant-based imitation proteins in the US market. After reading this, if you’re craving “chicken,” swing by KFC for plant-based fried chicken made with Beyond Meat, or Jack in the Box for an Unchicken Sandwich. As more countries continue to develop more sustainable alternatives to animal products, they’ll be something for every kind of eater on the menu.

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