Doubts about safety of lab-grown meat
Published: April 4, 2023
Category: GMO News
Despite lacking long-term safety studies to conclude that consuming lab-grown meat is harmless, some products may end up on restaurant menus this year—such as California-based UPSIDE’s chicken meat.
Yet often lab-grown meats are created using immortalized cell lines—cells capable of continuously dividing and replicating as cancer cells grow, Bloomberg recently stated. No evidence has appeared that these cells—generated either from cancer cells or through genetic modification—are dangerous to consume; but no long-term studies have been done.
“Although there is limited evidence to suggest that DNA from genetically engineered plant cells can integrate or be transferred into somatic cells or the microflora of the human gastrointestinal tract, due diligence would require further investigation in genetically engineered animal cells,” MIT researchers wrote in an October 2021 study.
“Confirming that future products made from immortalized animal cells expressing oncogenes, either through spontaneous immortalization or genetic engineering, would be safe represents a gap in knowledge in this field.”
Japanese company IntegriCulture is avoiding the technology to prevent having its products linked to cancer; it is opting to use methods taking cells directly from live animals.
Scientists are calling for a 20- to 30-year study, but that’s not a “practical experiment” said MIT’s Robert Weinberg, who demonstrated the genetic basis of cancer in the 1980s.
Companies developing lab-grown meats are keeping quiet about the use of cancer-like cells, hoping their PR teams can calm consumer concern.
Source: The Daily Caller
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights April 2023