The U.S. Beef Industry Vs. Lab Grown Meat

Lab Meat vs. Real MeatWhen you buy beef from a supermarket or butcher right now, you know that you are getting meat that is, in fact, meat. Nevertheless, a bunch of startup companies in Silicon Valley could change that in the near future—and the U.S. beef industry is not pleased about it.

There are startup companies that have figured out how to create cultured meat, which is also being referred to as lab-grown meat or clean meat, that is manufactured inside of a lab using cells from animals. This “meat” is not technically meat at all since it doesn’t come directly from cattle, but those that are producing it are going to try and sell it as such if they are able to convince the USDA to allow them to do so.

The National Cattle Beef Association (NCBA) and the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) are currently fighting against their right to call lab or any other meat substitute to be called meat or beef. In a 15-page petition that was recently filed with the USDA, the USCA called on USDA to define “meat” and “beef” as the meat and beef produced from animals that have been raised properly and then slaughtered for the purpose of producing meat and beef. NCBA is developing policy from member input at their recent convention and will appeal to USDA also to define meat or beef as naturally produced from animals. The groups, which is mostly made up of farmers and cattle ranchers from across the country, don’t want to see lab-grown meat or plant based products marketed as meat because that would create confusion among consumers.

As of now, lab-grown meats are not available in stores but some plant based products made to taste like beef are being marketed. There are companies like Memphis Meats, Just, Mosa Meats, Beyond Meat and more that are planning on putting their products into stores over the next three to five years. It could create unfair and misleading competition with the real beef producers and confuse consumers.  Cattlemen don’t want consumers to buy lab-grown or plant based “meat” assuming it is traditional real meat.

The real meat vs. lab-grown and plant based meat debate is likely to heat up in the coming years. For the time being, Flying H Genetics will continue to provide super genetics to cattle ranchers to produce the great tasting real beef consumers worldwide want. Contact us today to see how we can assist you.