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The Cattle Industry Is Having a Cow Over Whether Lab-Grown Meat Should Be Called Meat

Labeling lab-grown meat

  • In 1869, margarine was invented as a butter replacement. The dairy farmers raised the alarm in the United States; They convinced the U.S. Government to tax margarine and lobbied against the use of yellow dyes to make the butter replacement look more buttery.
  • Dairy farmers objected to soymilk and almond milk being called milk, but the FDA hasn't done anything to stop brands from using the word.

Unlike margarine or soymilk, cultured meat is biochemically identical to the substance it's competing with.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Cattle Industry Is Having a Cow Over Whether Lab-Grown Meat Should Be Called Meat

The Cattle Industry Is Having a Cow Over Whether Lab-Grown Meat Should Be Called Meat

https://slate.com/technology/2018/07/should-lab-grown-meat-be-called-meat.html

slate.com

5

Key Ideas

Meat from labs

Meat might have finally met its match. Some meat is now being cultured and grown into slabs that mimic meat.

It currently goes by names such as in-vitro meat, cultured meat, lab-grown meat and clean meat.

Labeling lab-grown meat

  • In 1869, margarine was invented as a butter replacement. The dairy farmers raised the alarm in the United States; They convinced the U.S. Government to tax margarine and lobbied against the use of yellow dyes to make the butter replacement look more buttery.
  • Dairy farmers objected to soymilk and almond milk being called milk, but the FDA hasn't done anything to stop brands from using the word.

Unlike margarine or soymilk, cultured meat is biochemically identical to the substance it's competing with.

Making the rules

The USDA (responsible for overseeing agriculture) and the FDA (regulating drugs and dietary supplements) both could have some say in how lab-grown meat is labeled.

  • From a production standpoint, cultured meat is more in line with the way drugs and additives are made in a lab.
  • From a final product, if lab-grown meat is going to end up next to the traditionally slaughtered meat, the USDA should take charge.

Cultured meat and real meat

Lab-grown meat companies say that their lab-grown meat is real meat because it comes from an animal and has the same biochemical makeup as meat.

Others argue that real meat is from a harvested animal. They are against the hijacking of the term "meat." 

Additional words and labeling

Apart from labels like clean meat or cultured meat, companies might be asked to add clarifying language to their packaging that explains that the meat was grown in a lab. 

Lab-grown meat companies believe that this kind of meat will replace slaughterhouses altogether. They hope to see lab-grown meat next to traditional meat without any kind of disclaimers.

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