April 21, 2024


Good news, cats and dogs: you can now legally eat lab-grown meat.

The milestone comes courtesy of a world-first permit for cultivated pet food. Czech startup Bene Meat Technologies received the inaugural license from the EU on Wednesday.

The company can now produce and sell the futuristic cuisine, which is made from cells taken from living animals. 

After extraction, the cells are placed in a bioreactor and grown into muscle tissue. The flesh is then formed into the desired shape.

The process could reduce emissions and prevent animal suffering, while creating meat that’s indistinguishable from farmed produce. It could also be big business: McKinsey predicts the market could reach $25bn by 2030.

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This cash is projected to come primarily from human consumption, but Bene Meat is focused on our furry friends. The company proffers several reasons for this strategy.

One is the product’s cost. Cultivated meat is notoriously expensive to develop, but Bene Meat claims that it can offer competitive costs.

“We will be targeting a similar price level as existing premium pet food ingredients,” Tomáš Kubeš, the startup’s head of strategic projects, told TNW. “This differentiates us from existing competitors.”

Two scientists wearing rubber gloves that hold bowls of lab-grown meat for pet food