Is Lab-Grown Meat Healthy and Safe to Consume?

Jaydee Hanson & Julia Ranney

It goes by many names: cultured, cell-based, cultivated, lab-grown meat, etc. As the names imply, it is a meat alternative made in a lab via animal cells and a cultured medium, like fetal bovine serum or a proprietary mix of sugars and salts. Several companies around the world are promoting this new technique as a way to cultivate a meat alternative that is supposedly “cleaner” and safer than traditional meat.

… While the hype is certainly there, is lab-cultured “meat” actually better? Its proponents tout it as an environmentally responsible, cruelty-free, and antibiotic-free alternative to current meat production. While the goal of producing sustainable “meat” without killing animals is admirable, lab- cultured “meat” is in its infancy and the science behind the production methods requires more scrutiny.

Of particular concern is the genetic engineering of cells and their potential cancer-promoting properties.

Image: Jaron Nix @ Unsplash

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