Knowledge for better food systems

Free-market think tank endorses lab-grown meat

The Adam Smith Institute, a UK-based free-market think tank, has published a briefing paper in which it argues in favour of lab-grown meat (also known as cultured meat). The authors say that the potentially lower land use of lab-grown meat, compared to conventional meat, could allow some farmland to be rewilded, managed in less intensive ways, or used to build more houses.

Other benefits argued for in the paper include avoiding the issue of antibiotic resistance associated with intensive animal farming (note, however, that lab-based tissue culture can also use antibiotics to prevent bacterial contamination), greater control over food safety, less animal suffering, and potentially lower transport costs by locating meat “factories” near consumers.

The authors urge both environmental campaigners and the government to avoid harming the emerging lab-grown meat industry, specifically criticising North American lobby groups that are trying to ban lab-grown meat from being labelled as “meat”.

Find the briefing paper here (PDF link) and read media coverage here. See also the Foodsource chapter Focus: the difficult livestock issue.

You may be interested in the free livestream of the Good Food Conference on 6 and 7 September 2018 (see here).

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