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Could lab-grown meat pave the way for more ethical, environmentally friendly food?

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A scientist holds a multi-well plate with pieces of raw cultured meat in the biotechnology laboratory. Synthetic or in vitro meat production concept. Cultured meat.

“No animals were harmed in the making of this burger.” 

After the Food and Drug Administration’s recent declaration that a lab-grown meat product is “generally recognized as safe” for consumption, don’t be surprised if you see that label on a menu in years to come. The product approved by the FDA was a chicken alternative created by California-based startup Upside Foods using real animal cells, not slaughtered animals. It’s not exactly a tank-grown chicken breast. Think ground chicken, not rotisserie.

Proponents of the technology argue a shift toward cultured meat would address some of the ethical concerns around animal welfare in mass produced food systems while also mitigating the environmental impacts of meat production. Ronald Sandler, professor of philosophy at Northeastern and director of the university’s Ethics Institute, isn’t so sure.

Continue reading at News@Northeastern.

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