Centre to fund cell-based meat research projectDate: 26 April 2019 Tags: Biotechnology
Union Department of Biotechnology has decided to fund Hyderabad-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and National Research Centre on Meat (NRCM) for research on cell-based meat.
Purpose of Funding
This funding has been given to develop technology to take laboratory cell culture process to cell-based meat production which can be scalable. This funding is one of the major initiatives by any government body across the world and much needed encouragement for other agencies and industry to participate. It will go long way in putting India on map of technologically advanced countries for cellular agriculture.
- It is also called clean meat or cultured meat. It is nutritionally equivalent to conventional animal meat and tastes, smells, looks and feels exactly the same.
- Its only difference is in method of production. Cell-based meat is produced through cellular agriculture, wherein cells are sourced from animal and cultivated into meat, rather than conventional method of raising and slaughtering animals for meat.
- Significance: This new method of producing meat shows strong promise of revolutionizing existing food system in terms of tackling much needed pressing global issues such as food security, environmental sustainability and animal welfare.
- Its proponents claim that it is healthier for planet as it reduces land and water usage, as well as for consumers.
- Moreover, it could potentially do away with need for modern factory-farming and issues such as animal cruelty, salmonella and e-coli infections and antibiotic-laced meat.
Cell-based meat and other cellular agriculture products represent new global food system that is better for people and planet. Government across world including in Japan, Netherlands, Israel etc. have already started clean investing and funding cell-based meat companies. Besides, regulatory authorities of countries like US are deliberating on the path to market these products. These efforts reflect potential of clean meat sector to provide future generations with sustainable nutrition.
India and Clean Meat efforts
In 2018, Atal Incubation Centre at CCMB had partnered with HSI/India, one of the largest animal protection organisations in the country, to promote and develop the clean meat sector. It has been working closely with GFI, a global expert organisation that advances research and commercialisation of plant-based and clean meat sector. It provides input and support to entrepreneurs, regulators, scientists and others.