The Netherlands’ House of Representatives approved a new law this week to make the sampling of cultured meats legal in the country, making the launch of cell-based meat products onto the retail market a tangible possibility.
The motion was proposed by the Democrats 66 (D66) and People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) parties.
Mosa Meat, one of two Dutch companies working in the cultivated meat sector, told the Dutch RTL Nieuws that the move “speaks volumes about the momentum that is building for innovation in sustainable meat production.”
Both the production of and even research on cell-based meat is restricted in Europe at the moment, with all cultivated meat products needing to be approved by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which can take a minimum of 18 months.
Tjeerd de Groot of D66 who considered the proposal told the RTL Nieuws: “With minimal use of water, land, and greenhouse gas emissions and far less suffering caused to animals. Cultured meat deserves a fair chance and that is why we need to start making it possible to do samplings.”
Mosa Meat unveiled the first ever cultured beef burger from cow cells in London in 2013. Since then, the Maastricht-based company has seen significant growth, receiving investment in September 2021 from a number of investors, including Academy-Award winning actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who also joined the company board as an advisor.
The company is still working on submitting an application to be approved by the EFSA, which will allow them to scale up their production of their cell-based meat products.
Speaking to Innovation Origins, Head of Public Affairs at Mosa Meat Robert Jones said: “Cellular agriculture is a Dutch invention and we do not want to lose our edge over competitors. Companies abroad, including Germany, France, and Belgium, are already able to introduce their products to the general public as a way to gain support and acceptance from consumers, which is extremely important.”