Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Next Up, Kosher Pork (but is it halal?)

From the Jerusalem Post, July 11: 
Kosher lab-grown pork from Israel's growing cultured meat sector
Israeli company MeaTech 3D looks to lead the world in slaughter-free, sustainable meat production.

Will Israel one day be a leading exporter of lab-grown pork? And will it be kosher?

Ness-Ziona based MeaTech 3D, considered one of the leaders in the lab-grown cultured meat technology field, announced last week that it had begun research and development of porcine cell lines that could one day lead to the mass production of cultivated pork.

That move could make MeaTech, the world's only publicly traded cultured meat company, a front-runner in the race to create a slaughter-free, sustainable version of the most consumed meat worldwide.

That eventuality is still many years away, however, explained Simon Fried, MeaTech's head of business development. "The technology for the cultured meat industry has only developed over the past ten years or so, and there are now just about 30-40 companies around the world working in this field," Fried said. "Israel is one of the leaders in the field, along with the US and the Netherlands. Israel has four companies developing meat products, and two, or three working on cultured meat products as well."

Last week, Rehovot-based Aleph Farms said it raised $105 million for large-scale global commercialization ahead of the company's initial market launch next year. Others are also ramping up their operations.

The commercialization of cultured meats is in its infancy but it is expected to grow rapidly in the coming years. "We are at the point where regulators are beginning to think about how to work with industry," Fried said. "One restaurant in Singapore recently become the first in the world to serve lab-grown chicken. We are working toward preparing our own products for the market in the coming years."

In the early stages, cultured meat products won't be cheap, though. "In the beginning, lab-grown meats will probably cost about 2-3 times the price of traditional meats, but we have the goal of reaching cost parity soon," Fried said. After that, cultivated meat could comprise half of the total meat market by 2040, according to global consultancy firm AT Kearney."....


In January 2020 we looked at "Can Plant-Based "Pork" Sell In Muslim South Asia?".

Another question is what about lab-grown meat based on stem cells? 

To date there has been no formal determination by Muslim jurists such as those at Al-Azhar University but the questions are coming into focus, and trust me, we are watching.

See, if interested:

The U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Cultured Meat in Islamic Perspective", December 2018 

And Green Queen: "Q&A w/ CellAgri Founder Ahmed Khan: Can Cell-Based Meat Be Halal?", May 2021. 

And that's for beef. For pork? It will be an uphill climb for the marketers.