16.5 C
Wednesday, May 31, 2023
HomeWorldFrance: Can lab-grown meat replace natural meat?

France: Can lab-grown meat replace natural meat?


Posted in:

As recommended by a report by French senators whose approval was postponed on Wednesday, March 15, 2023, France should “accelerate research” on lab-grown meat despite the lack of confidence of farmers and the political class in this option.

Lab-grown meat is gradually entering the global market, from the United States to the Netherlands and Singapore, which is working on developing and adopting these foods. So far, for example, laboratory-prepared “chicken” can only be eaten in Singapore.

Senators fear that France will lag behind and “fall into dependence on large foreign companies”. They therefore recommend that “financing innovation should not be ruled out in principle”, particularly through public subsidies.

“In the face of the concerns raised by the development of the product and its implications for livestock farming, and the many questions raised by the presentation of the report, the members of the Committee on Economic Affairs expressed their desire to extend their reflection by two weeks,” the Senate said in a statement before the vote proceeded.

Meat foods produced in fermenters based on animal cells immersed in a culture broth are called “lab-made” or “lab-meats”.

Advocates of this new type of diet believe that these “cell foods” can reduce the damage caused by livestock farming, which accounts for 14.5% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to deforestation.

But in a land of vast pastures such as France, the technology, which is still in its infancy, is causing a great deal of reluctance, with vocal opposition from former Minister of Agriculture Julien Donormandy and current Minister Marc Fino.

At the same time, the public investment bank Bpifrance supported the two French companies active in this sector, VitalMate and Gourmet, with about six million euros in repayable loans or subsidies.

At the end of their mission, which began in January, the senators who drafted the report considered “a consensus that we have increased our knowledge of the subject.”

The report recommends “accelerating research in France to remove the many uncertainties that remain and to ensure control of the technology”.

No order has been submitted to put these products on the market yet in the European Union, while it may have to wait until at least 2025 to see such foods appear on the shelves. However, this should not be “an excuse to act as if the subject does not exist,” according to the report’s authors.

Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

Latest stories