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Food Safety Risks in Cultivated Meat Are Similar to Those of Conventional Meat, Concludes Mark Post For FAO Report – vegconomist

The FAO/WHO Scientific Advice Programme has officially launched a new publication entitled Food Safety Aspects of Cell-Based food.

The report offers accurate information and scientific knowledge on cell-based food production to authorities in low- and middle-income countries, to enable them to take any necessary regulatory actions. Furthermore, they can benefit from the experiences of more developed countries by learning from their good practices in this field, explains FAO.

Dr. Mark Post, CSO and co-founder of the Dutch company Mosa Meat, who in 2013, revealed the world’s first cultivated burger in London, served on FAO’s technical panel as a consultant expert for the report. 

mosa-meat-steak-tartare
Cultivated Steak Tartare ©Mosa Meat

Since more than 100 companies, including Mosa Meat, are already developing cell-based food products ready for commercialization and will be awaiting approval soon, FAO says that addressing food safety as one of the most important issues for consumers and the industry is critical.

Safety of cell-based products

Last year, FAO held expert consultations in Singapore and Israel to identify food safety hazards related to cell-based products. The intention was to capture key food safety issues before products were widely available on the market. 

The results of these consultations have been published in this report and were shared in a jointly FAO/WHO webinar open to Codex Members and Observers that took place online today, April 5. 

a graphic of a brown cow and a mark on its back that measures the wound inflicted to take a live cells sample
© Mosa Meat

“This FAO report is a step toward the international standards that we envisioned would be necessary when we introduced the world to cultivated meat in 2013. We (the FAO technical panel) identified the credible areas where safety risks can be assessed and addressed in making cultivated foods. We also evaluated unscientific scenarios popular amongst detractors of cellular agriculture and found them to be so unlikely that they do not merit further discussion,” comments Dr Post in a statement today.

“In short, food safety risks in cultivated meat are similar to those in conventional meat, and they can be contained by proper handling and testing like in conventional meat,” he concludes.

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