UPSIDE Foods says receives label approval from USDA for its cultivated meat

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(Reuters) – California’s UPSIDE Foods said on Wednesday it received regulatory approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the label on its cell-cultivated chicken, making it the second company in the United States to secure that approval.

Several companies are seeking approval from U.S. regulators for cultivated meat and fish products, hoping to appeal to consumers concerned about the environmental impact of raising livestock for food.

“The USDA’s approval of our label marks a major step forward towards our goal of creating a more humane and sustainable food system,” said Dr. Uma Valeti, UPSIDE’s CEO and founder.

UPSIDE was the first company to receive a green light for its cultivated chicken from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last year.

Cultivated meat is made from a small sample of livestock cells collected from living animals, which are then fed a nutrient mix and grown inside steel vats.

The FDA and the USDA both play a role in the approval process for cultivated meat: the FDA assesses whether the product is safe for human consumption, and the USDA reviews the product’s label and conducts a facility inspection.

UPSIDE does not yet have a timeline for when its production facility in Emeryville, California, will be inspected by the USDA, the company said.

(This story has been corrected after an official revision to say that UPSIDE Foods is the second cultivated meat company in the United States to get label approval from the USDA, and not the first)

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