The San Leandro, California-based company Memphis Meats has denied a report from an ABC station out of Mississippi that its lab grown meat products will be available for the first time this summer, saying that it was based on false reporting.
The report originally said that the state will become the first landing spot for the controversial new type of food, as shared by the local ABC 16 news station.
The report did not say what types of meat would be sold, and Memphis Meats did not respond to the station’s request for more information.
Memphis Meats is backed by Bill Gates, Richard Branson, venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson and others.
It has the goal of researching and eventually providing “clean meat” to consumers to lessen the need for animal agriculture.
Tyson Foods also invested in Memphis Meats in January 2018, with hopes of bringing it to a larger customer base.
The company’s website lists cell-based meatballs and cell-based poultry as two of its recent milestones, along with the funding it secured from Gates, Cargill and Branson.
“We have not made any announcements about when/where we will release our first products,” said Senior Manager of Communications & Operations David Kay in an email to AltHealthWorks.com.
Only Two States Expected to Label Lab Grown Meat
Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce Andy Gipson told ABC-16 news that the state will be one of just two (along with Missouri) to utilize ‘Truth in Labeling’ standards, enabling customers to know what they’re eating.
“Come July 1 we’re going to make sure every product in our grocery stores across the great state of Mississippi, if meat is being sold that in fact it is real meat and if it’s not meat they can’t call it meat,” Gipson said.
Critics have pointed out that the meat is not been independently tested for long-term safety, much like GMOs, and that it often utilizes genetically modified yeast in the production process, similar to the Impossible Burger.
Dr. John Neiswinger, an Assistant Professor of Biology at Belhaven University in Jackson, said that public perception and cost have been the two biggest hurdles to lab grown meat thus far. But the technology has advanced fast, and now the lab grown meat experiment is about to become reality.
“It seems like it was kind of a science fiction type thought in the past, but you know, technology has gotten so much better now that we’re able to do this, relatively I guess easily,” Neiswinger said, noting that the first hamburger cost about $330,000.
The new products from Memphis Meats are expected to be affordable, although they may not be labeled in the vast majority of states. But the company has not decided when and where it will release its first products, Kay said in the email.
The original report, which the company said is based on false reporting, can be seen below. Kay believes the reporters may have confused his company’s lab grown meat product with a plant-based meat product:
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