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Agri food tech

Aleph Farms applies for approval to sell its cultivated beef in the UK

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4 min read
AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli
person grilling cultivated beef steak

Israeli cultivated meat start-up Aleph Farms have submitted a dossier to the Food Standard Agency to seek approval to sell its cultured beef steaks in the UK, Bloomberg has reported.

The application was submitted to the FSA on 21 July, just a few days after the start-up submitted a regulatory approval application for the sale of its cultivated meat in Switzerland, which was the first ever dossier for the human consumption of cultured animal products submitted in Europe.

Aleph Farms confirmed the news on LinkedIn this morning, writing: “Today, as reported by Bloomberg, we are pleased to share we have recently submitted a dossier to the Food Standards Agency. Approval of our submission will allow us to launch Aleph Cuts, the world’s first cultivated beef steaks, in the UK.

We look forward to continuing to work closely with the regulatory authority to ensure full compliance with safety requirements. Together, we will build trust with our UK diners and provide them with delicious and new culinary experiences.

Kudos to the Aleph Farms team for another incredible milestone!

Currently the United Kingdom must still follow the EU’s procedure for the approval of novel foods within the bloc, however, since it left the European Union, it’s now looking at reviewing its approval of such foods sold within the country.

Seth Roberts, Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, welcomed the news, saying: “It’s great news that the UK has received its first application to sell cultivated meat. Once approved by regulators, British consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite beef dishes, made in a way that could slash climate emissions and create space for more sustainable farming. Cultivated meat represents a huge opportunity for the UK to enhance its food security and create future-proof green jobs.

“But it’s crucial that the UK stays on track with its planned reforms to the novel foods regulatory framework. Several British cultivated meat companies are making great progress, but are considering launching their products overseas. The Food Standards Authority should accelerate constructive conversations with industry, scientific experts and consumer groups to inform a trusted, innovative framework for sustainable proteins that enables them to deliver on their climate benefits.” 

Until recently the sale for human consumption of cultivated meat was only allowed in Singapore, where GOOD Meat, a branch of Eat Just, has been selling its cultured chicken since the end of 2020.

At the end June, GOOD Meat and Upside Foods made history by becoming the first two cultivated meat start-ups to receive approval for the sale of their lab-grown chicken in the United States.

“This announcement that we’re now able to produce and sell cultivated meat in the United States is a major moment for our company, the industry and the food system.” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of GOOD Meat and Eat Just of the US approval. “We have been the only company selling cultivated meat anywhere in the world since we launched in Singapore in 2020, and now it’s approved to sell to consumers in the world’s largest economy. We appreciate the rigor and thoughtfulness that both the FDA and USDA have applied during this historic two-agency regulatory process.”

Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods commented on LinkedIn: “In 2015, we set out to revolutionize meat production in pursuit of a more sustainable, humane, and abundant future. Today [22.06.2023] we’re proud to share that UPSIDE Foods is approved to sell cultivated meat in the US.

“This historic achievement is the culmination of years of unwavering dedication, innovation, and resilience from the entire UPSIDE Foods team. It confirms that our needs and our desires do not have to be mutually exclusive. We can create a more sustainable future for meat production without reducing access to the delicious foods we love. It’s a testament to the worthiness of challenging the status quo in favor of solutions that are better for the environment, animal welfare, and public health alike.

Ultimately, it’s a reminder that we should dare to think big, and not be afraid to double down in the face of skepticism and difficult, meaty challenges.”

In an interview with Food Matters Live last February, Didier Toubia, CEO and co-founder of Aleph Farms said: “Currently, food systems are unsustainable and extremely susceptible to shocks caused by war, pandemics and climate change, so when it comes to collaboration in the food sector (not just the protein or the alternative protein sector), no single solution can solve these formidable challenges on its own. The world needs a just transition in agriculture as a whole – one that creates a more resilient and sustainable global food system and does so in a way that provides real opportunity for more people, including current food producers.” 

On the viability of cultured products Toubia added: “Ultimately, for cultivated meat to make food systems secure and sustainable, it needs to make financial sense. Achieving financial feasibility is a chief priority.

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