Fund research for cultivated meat

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I was thrilled to learn the U.S. Department of Agriculture is giving $10 million over five years to Tufts University to establish a National Institute for Cellular Agriculture. The institute will conduct open-access research into cultivated meat. For those who don’t know, cultivated meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. It’s better for the environment, public health and animal welfare.

“USDA’s historic funding for a National Institute for Cellular Agriculture is an important advancement for cultivated meat research and science,” said Appropriations Committee Chair Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). “I am pleased that USDA’s leadership continues to recognize the important role these technologies can play in combating climate change and adding much needed resiliency to our food system.”

As wonderful as this news is, a greater investment is needed for cultivated meat to reach price parity and surmount other obstacles. Given the technology’s potential to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, pandemic risk and animal suffering, the government should be allocating billions of dollars to the effort, not millions. 

Jon Hochschartner