Lab-grown meat to go on sale in Singapore in world first

Lab-grown meat to go on sale in Singapore in world first
The Singapore Food Agency, the city-state’s regulator, approved the sale of Eat Just’s lab-grown chicken in nuggets after concluding it was safe for consumption. (Eat Just via Reuters)
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Updated 10 December 2020

Lab-grown meat to go on sale in Singapore in world first

Lab-grown meat to go on sale in Singapore in world first
  • Demand for sustainable alternatives to meat is rising due to growing consumer pressure

SINGAPORE: Lab-grown chicken will soon be available in restaurants in Singapore, after the city-state became the first to green-light meat created without slaughtering any animals.
US start-up Eat Just said Wednesday that its meat had been approved for sale in the city-state as an ingredient in chicken nuggets.
The news marks a “breakthrough for the global food industry,” said the company, as firms increasingly try to find less environmentally harmful ways of producing meat.
“I’m sure that our regulatory approval for cultured meat will be the first of many in Singapore and in countries around the globe,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of Eat Just.
Consumption of regular meat is an environmental threat as cattle produce methane, a potent greenhouse gas, while logging forests to make way for animals destroys natural barriers against climate change.
Demand for sustainable alternatives to meat is rising due to growing consumer pressure, but other products in the market are plant-based.

There were concerns lab-grown varieties would be too expensive, but a spokesman for Eat Just said the company had made “considerable progress” in lowering the cost.
“Right from the start, we will be at price parity for premium chicken at a high-end restaurant,” he said.
He did not reveal the price of the nuggets but said they would be launched soon at a Singapore restaurant, before other products including lab-grown chicken breasts are rolled out.
Eat Just hopes to bring down the cost to below that of conventional chicken in the coming years, the spokesman added.
The company conducted over 20 production runs in 1,200-liter bioreactors to make the chicken alternative, and checks on safety and quality showed its “cultured” product — the term for meat grown in labs from animal cells — met food standards.
Meat consumption is projected to increase over 70 percent by 2050, and lab-grown alternatives have a role to play in ensuring a safe, secure food supply, Eat Just said.
“Working in partnership with the broader agriculture sector and forward-thinking policymakers, companies like ours can help meet the increased demand for animal protein as our population climbs to 9.7 billion by 2050,” said company CEO Tetrick.
The Singapore Food Agency, the city-state’s regulator, confirmed it had approved the sale of Eat Just’s lab-grown chicken in nuggets after concluding it was safe for consumption.
The agency said it had put in place a framework for “novel foods” which do not have a history of being consumed by humans to ensure safety standards are met before they go on sale.
The high-tech city-state has become a hub for the development of sustainable foods in recent years, with local start-ups concocting dishes suited to Asian palates.
These range from lab-grown “seafood” to dumplings made with tropical fruit instead of pork.


TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options

TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options
Updated 15 January 2021

TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options

TWITTER POLL: WhatsApp users undecided whether to continue using app or switching to other options
  • The Facebook-owned messaging service has issued a new privacy policy

DUBAI: WhatsApp users are generally undecided whether to continue using the app or consider switching to other available options, an Arab News poll showed.

The Facebook-owned messaging service has issued a new privacy policy, which some reports claimed would share users’ data without giving them a choice, something that 29.7 percent of the poll respondents said they would accept.

Meanwhile, about 38.8 percent of those who answered the poll said they would decline the new privacy policy and switch to other apps while 31.5 percent were undecided on what to do with the WhatsApp app installed in their phones.

Alternative messaging services such as Signal and Telegram meanwhile benefited from the negative press that WhatsApp received, both receiving subscriber boost in just a few days.

Signal in particular added a whopping 4.6 million new users right after receiving an endorsement from technology mogul Elon Musk.

Unlike WhatsApp, which shares user data with Facebook, Signal has a history of fighting any entity that asks for private data and adds features to further anonymize users where possible.

Telegram, which is currently No. 2 behind Signal on the App Store, saw more than 25 million new users sign up in just the last few days.

The mistrust over WhatsApp’s updated privacy policy may also affect its ambitions in India, its biggest market, where 400 million users exchange more messages on the platform.

The backlash forced it to undertake advertising blitz costing tens of millions of rupees in at least 10 English and Hindi newspapers.