We’re not the only group paving the way for the future of food and biotechnology. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) – at the request of the White House – was recently tasked with looking down the road and identifying the products that are likely to be produced with biotechnology in the next 10 years.
The resulting report, which was researched and written by more than a dozen top scientists and peer reviewed by an additional 17, made a pretty awesome statement: Clean meat and the products of cellular agriculture were flagged as areas of high growth potential.
Not only that, but the report suggested that regulatory agencies develop “single point of entry” into the regulatory system to streamline the regulatory approval process for these products.
Trust me, though that might look like a footnote, it’s actually tremendously important. As in, I would like to commission a plane to write this recommendation in the sky above Capitol Hill for all policymakers to see.
The topic of how to regulate these products – clean meat especially – has been a looming question, since current USDA standards for regulating meat production assume animal slaughter. Without a slaughterhouse to inspect, the existing regulatory framework is obsolete. Recognizing this hiccup, the NAS is pushing for policymakers to create and approve a sensible, simple, and single pathway for these products so that they can be effectively evaluated. This is a move that protects both consumers and the world writ large, which is desperately in need of safe and sustainable ways to produce food.
Companies such as Memphis Meats, Perfect Day, Clara Foods, and Geltor are leading the pack in the food world by using fermentation and cellular replication to produce animal products without the devastation of factory farming and the cruelty of slaughterhouses.
These trailblazers are opening the door for an improved future of food, and this regulatory recommendation from the NAS, if heeded, will make it easier for other companies to follow.
As the NAS paper states that the existing regulatory system for biotechnology is “complex and fragmented, resulting in a system that can be difficult for individuals, nontraditional organizations, and small- and medium-size enterprises to navigate.” As a result, it might cause “uncertainty and a lack of predictability” for entrepreneurs looking to enter the field.
Hence the desire to nip any “uncertainty” in the bud by establishing clear guidelines, before it has a chilling effect on progress toward food-system solutions.
To read the full NAS report, click here. And if someone launched a Kickstarter campaign for that sky-writing plane, I wouldn’t stop you…
To learn more about how GFI’s work to support a future in which healthy, humane, and sustainable foods are the default choice, read up on what we do.