Lab-grown poultry just got a boost.
GOOD Meat, a brand of lab-grown meat from the company Eat Just, said on Tuesday that it got a nod of approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its lab-grown meat, which comes from real animal cells but is “cultivated” into meat in a lab.
Eat Just said the FDA gave the product what is called a “no questions” letter. The letter indicates the agency believes the food is safe to sell in the U.S., according to CNN.
The brand is now working with another federal agency, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, on regulatory approvals to be able to sell the chicken product, it added.
Singapore approved the brand’s lab-grown chicken in 2020, which was a first for the world.
“[The letter] clears a crucial step in bringing GOOD Meat to restaurants and retail in the U.S. more than two years after its historic approval and launch in Singapore,” the company wrote in a press release.
Eat Just was founded in 2011 and notably makes the mung bean-based egg substitute, JUST Egg, which is sold at tens of thousands of stores across the U.S. and has beat year-over-year growth rates of products in categories it’s sold in, like eggs and frozen breakfast according to Food Navigator.
The chicken product is sourced from live, “high-quality poultry.” This typically happens with a biopsy, or by taking a chunk of meat or feather root. Then, the cells are infused with things like amino acids and carbs, “the same types of nutrients animals need to grow and multiply,” the company says on its website.
The cells then grow into the cut of meat humans would normally eat, the company claims. “The entire process takes place in a safe and controlled environment much like a beer brewery,” the company said.
The chicken is “made without tearing down a forest or taking a life,” the company adds.
Eat Just served the lab-grown chicken at United Nations’ COP27 climate meeting in November. It reportedly tasted similar to the real thing, but a writer at Insider who tried it said it didn’t leave them satiated.
At the meeting, GOOD Meat’s CEO and co-founder Josh Tetrick said the biggest problem with the product is that it is so expensive to produce — between the tech required and the length of time it takes to get approved to sell the products in various countries, the outlet reported.
The company will roll out the chicken with Chef José Andrés as the first chef to serve it upon regulatory approval at a restaurant in Washington, D.C., the press release added.
“The future of our planet depends on how we feed ourselves…and we have a responsibility to look beyond the horizon for smarter, sustainable ways to eat,” Andrés said in the press release.