Lab grown meat in NL

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Lab-grown meat is a dutch idea. Being the producer of the first artificially grown hamburger, the Netherlands are leading this new innovation (followed closely by the US and UK). The debate is now raging on an international scale: Is lab-grown meat safe and healthy? Is it really sustainable? Will it ever replace the conventional meat industry? Can it be called “meat”? These questions are yet to be answered by the science community and law makers.
For now, we can see that the subject is hitting the mainstream. Indeed, a few days ago the students of the science department of the University of Amsterdam put together a casual debate on the subject in the main hall of their building with a collection of prestigious guests:

  • Daan Luining, CTO and mastermind of the lab-grown-meat company Meatable
  • Karin Verzijden, lawyer at Axon lawyers, specialized in food products
  • Bert Urlings, corporate director of Vion food, an international meat producer based in the Netherlands and Germany

We could feel a slight passive agressive tension between the two clashing markets (conventional meat production and climate conscious meat substitutes). May lawyer Karin Verzijden assure that the two industries will seemingly merge in the near future, it appears that the lab-grow meat startup movement does not want to mingle with the conventional meat industry, while meat giants carefully guard their turf by showing their future rival that they might be open to discussion, if those can keep in mind that they are the owners of the carnivorous kingdom.

Two interesting points in favor of this questionable innovation:

  • Lab-grown meat would allow meat to be produced locally (by getting rid of animals they could fit the factories in small buildings). Tomorrow’s meat could therefore be produced in cities and be delivered locally, avoiding transport and its added cost.
  • The vege/vegan community lifted the shields when hearing that lab-grown meat was requiring foetus blood to grow meat cells (ergo the slaughtering of unborn veal). Today, the industry is racing to ditch the serum and replace it by a plant-based version.


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