What if all our meat were grown in a lab?

17-01-2018

Laboratory meat is grown from a small number of cells taken from a live animal and placed in a growth medium in a bioreactor where they proliferate independently. If meat cultured in this way became widely available, it could significantly alleviate the environmental problems currently caused by livestock production - such as greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen pollution of waterways - without requiring humans to alter their consumption patterns. This publication provides an overview of the potential impacts of laboratory meat on environment, public health and farming, and makes suggestions for anticipatory policy-making in this area.

Laboratory meat is grown from a small number of cells taken from a live animal and placed in a growth medium in a bioreactor where they proliferate independently. If meat cultured in this way became widely available, it could significantly alleviate the environmental problems currently caused by livestock production - such as greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen pollution of waterways - without requiring humans to alter their consumption patterns. This publication provides an overview of the potential impacts of laboratory meat on environment, public health and farming, and makes suggestions for anticipatory policy-making in this area.