Beef Farming Using Technology

July 16, 2018 09:05 PM

(ABC 6 News)-- Cell culture technology isn’t new. It’s been used in the medical field for years.

But now, that same science could be applied to animal cells, growing them into meats like steak and sirloin that you pick up at the grocery store.


ABC 6 spoke with a beef farmer in Chatfield to see how he thinks this could impact his business.

"I think there's a big difference between what they're doing in their laboratory and something that's bucking and kicking in the pasture,” said Gabe Chase.

"That some people are going to call it a substitute for my product even though I don't look at it that way,” he added.

The substitute is what many are calling "lab-grown meat."

“It's far from sirloins and rib-eyes what we're talking about here,” Chase said.

And he says it's something farmers have been talking about.

"I'm all for thinking outside the box and doing things to streamline our process and make it more efficient, make it better for the environment, but I just don't think that's it,” he explained.

Last week the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public meeting on foods produced using animal cell culture technology.

"While FDA has been well versed in the use of cell culture technology in medical applications for some time now, we now found ourselves with the need to look at these technologies in the context of food production,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a meeting.

"I think we need to prove that it's really safe and then prove that it can be grown economically,” Chase said.

Since the FDA still has to approve animal cell technology products, farmers don't expect to be impacted immediately.

"Here in the heartland and throughout the United States I don't think we'll be seeing a shift to the lab synthesized meat anytime soon,” Chase said.


Alice Keefe

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