WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Singapore becomes the first country to authorize the selling of lab-created meat after allowing food maker Eat Just Inc to offer its cultured chicken product.
- In entering Singapore, Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick said that the country was very welcoming in creating “an enabling environment.”
- East Just is also planning to offer their lab-created beef to Singapore next year.
In Singapore, foodmaker Eat Just Inc. got the government approval to sell its laboratory-created chicken. The country would be the first government to authorize the selling of cultured meat products.
Made from animal cells without taking out actual parts of a chicken, the product will be launched under the GOOD Meat brand. Having no breading or seasoning, the chicken bite will be offered in a single restaurant.
In creating the cultured chicken, Eat Just is working with the Food Innovation and Resource Centre, a local manufacturer. The company is also purchasing more equipment to grow their business and offer their products to other restaurants as well as grocery stores.
In an interview, Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick said: “We want Singapore to be the focus of our manufacturing globally. They’re just really forward thinking in building an enabling environment for this kind of work.”
Tetrick also pointed out that the chicken’s taste and flavor are just the same as the usual chicken dishes.
With a goal of securing its food supply amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore has immediately granted the sale of alternative meats. The nation’s 5.7 million population rely mostly on other countries for food, hence the enter of cultured chicken in the market was welcomed. The alternative proteins were proved to be edible.
From the current less than 10 percent, Singapore is working to increase its capacity to produce its own food to at least 30 percent by 2030. It has also raised funds to aid local farming.
“Singapore has really spent a lot more time and energy getting this right than Western Europe and the US,” Tetrick said.
According to Tetrick, the cultured chicken would be sold for the same price as premium chicken for the first half of the year. The cost will go down over time as they expand globally, the CEO said.
“Eventually we want to get to the place where it is significantly more cost effective than conventional production.”
Next year, Eat Just is also planning to ask Singapore’s permission to offer their lab-created beef in the market. So aside from the chicken, cultured burgers may soon become available as well. Compared to Singapore, Europe and the US have slower processing for granting the selling of cultured meat products.
Meanwhile, another alternative foodmaker, Impossible Foods Inc., also entered Singapore’s retail market and Hongkong this year.