(NEW YORK) — After years of research and rigorous testing, cell-cultivated chicken meat will officially be a part of the U.S. food system.
Emeryville, California-based manufacturer UPSIDE Foods, which gave ABC News a look inside its facilities earlier this year, is the world’s first U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved cell-cultivated chicken meat producer and has been fully approved by the U.S. government for commercial sales nationwide.
The food and agriculture manufacturing industry has hailed this as a “historic” moment — after years of investment in UPSIDE Foods from Bill Gates, Richard Branson and Whole Foods founder John Mackey — as scientists tout the lab-cultivated meat as a possible solution for global warming, inhumane treatment of animals and growing global hunger.
The company says it will begin cultivation and sales of real chicken meat grown from animal cells in bioreactors.
It will first reach consumers on the menu of a San Francisco restaurant, Bar Crenn, helmed by James Beard Award-winning chef, restaurateur and activist Dominique Crenn, who is hoping to help mainstream the innovative protein.
Crenn is also the first and only female chef in the U.S. ever to be awarded three Michelin Stars, and only one of five total to achieve the distinction in the world.
In a blog post Wednesday, UPSIDE Foods called the historic milestone “the culmination of years of dedication, ingenuity, and resilience from our team and supporters and marks the beginning of a whole new era in meat production.”
The company has not released a date of first availability, but indicated “that soon, Americans will be able to enjoy delicious meat that doesn’t involve the slaughter of billions of animals every year.”
The UPSIDE Foods team has achieved all three key regulatory milestones: A “No Questions” Letter from the Food and Drug Administration in November 2022, a USDA Label Approval in June 2023, and the USDA Grant of Inspection in June 2023.
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