The United Kingdom’s national standards body, the British Standards Institution (BSI), has released a report titled “The Future of Sustainable Alternative Proteins: Cultivated Meats“. The document explores the role that standardization could play in creating trust in cultivated meat.
As the biotech sector is rapidly developing, standardization could mandate the quality and consistency of technologies and ensure their compatibility, interoperability, and safety. BSI’s whitepaper investigates how shared standards can advance development and growth within the cell ag sector and aid it in achieving its commercial and environmental ambitions.
A positive future for cultivated meat
In the report, Sara Walton — Sector Lead at BSI Knowledge (Agri-Food) — highlights that legislation and standards are essential for creating a positive future for cultivated meat, and that the pharma and cosmetics industries can be a source of knowledge due to their highly regulated laboratory conditions.
Furthermore, the whitepaper addresses the key challenges in the industry and summarises the insights from a roundtable (featuring stakeholders from companies such as Multus, Ivy Farm, Innovate UK, and CPI Biologics) that took place last year.
“If the climate change and carbon footprint credentials can be demonstrated, then that is a huge tick for the consumer,” said Paul Bello, innovation lead at Innovate UK.
“One of the major challenges will be around making sure the manufacturing process is clean and sustainable. We can’t replace one problem with another,” argued Clare Trippett, chief technologist at CPI.
Standards and regulations
Sara Walton added, “Similar rigorous standards and regulations will be vital in creating trust in cultivated meat… Regulators can’t develop rules unless they have a picture of where the industry is going, and companies will struggle to attract investment without certainty that the future of the industry will be supported with the appropriate frameworks, comprised of both regulation and consensus-based expert standards, as designed by industry, research, and other key stakeholders.
“At BSI, we can help with the development of standards that will enable innovation and future industry scale-up, help disseminate knowledge about the process, reassure investors, and support and complement regulatory pathways.”