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The high-tech future of meat is just around the corner

Meat producers are paying attention now that a cultured meat company has passed a key regulatory hurdle.

Upside Foods became the first company to receive a “no questions” letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Despite some headlines, it has not received approval for any products but the FDA said it has no qualms about the Upside Foods cultured chicken manufacturing process.

Cultured meat is not a meat substitute like some of the plant-protein-based products that have recently hit the market. It is made of animal muscle cells grown in a lab.

The process first made headlines in 2013, when a hamburger made from lab-grown animal cells was announced with much fanfare. But with a price tag of more than US$250,000, it wasn’t an option likely to show up on fast-food menus.

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