WASHINGTON D.C.: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced that, for the first time it has cleared a meat product grown from animal cells for human consumption.
In a statement, the FDA said that UPSIDE Foods, which makes cell-cultured chicken by harvesting cells from live animals, can release its products to market once inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
In a joint statement, FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf and Susan Mayne, director of the FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition said, "The world is experiencing a food revolution and the (FDA) is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply."
In documents released this week, the FDA said it had reviewed data from the company and had no further questions.
"We are thrilled at FDA's announcement. This historic step paves the way for our path to market," said David Kay, UPSIDE's director of communications, in an email to Reuters.
In its statement, the FDA stressed that the review is not technically an approval and applies only to UPSIDE products, but it is ready to work with other firms developing cultured animal cell food.
Under an agreement made in 2009, the USDA and FDA jointly regulate cell-cultured meat.
Due to growing awareness of greenhouse gas emissions caused by domestic livestock, demand for alternatives to farmed meat has grown.