Lab-grown meat can be labeled kosher and halal when cells are sourced in accordance with religious standards, as concluded by panels of experts in the emerging industry. This development is seen as a positive step for cell-cultivated meat companies, potentially expanding their consumer base to include observant followers of Judaism and Islam.
Josh Tetrick, CEO of GOOD Meat, stated, “It’s another milestone in making cultivated meat a practical solution.” Currently, cultivated meat is available in limited quantities in the United States and Singapore, with hopes of scaling production and reshaping global diets through private and public investments.
Cultivated meat is produced from animal cells cultured in nutrient-rich tanks, avoiding the resource-intensive practices of traditional farming and slaughterhouses. These companies aim to attract not only vegans and vegetarians but also environmentally conscious meat consumers.
GOOD Meat consulted a panel of three sharia experts who determined that cultivated meat can be halal, provided the cells used originate from animals slaughtered in accordance with Islamic law. While GOOD’s current chicken doesn’t meet this standard, it paves the way for the industry to produce halal products.
The Orthodox Union (OU), the largest kosher certification agency, recently deemed cultivated chicken produced by Israeli company SuperMeat as kosher. They based this decision on the absence of animal ingredients in the chicken cells, which were sourced from a fertilized egg before any blood spots appeared. SuperMeat and the OU are collaborating on broader industry guidelines.
In the United States, over 12 million people consume kosher products, while 8 million opt for halal products, according to the OU and the Islamic Services of America. Regulators approved cultivated chicken for US consumption earlier this year, and it has since been featured in some upscale restaurants.