Laboratory meat: Gates, Branson back it but Australian producers say demand for natural product will stay – ABC Rural – Australia News

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As the debate rages about the future for laboratory-grown meat, Australian producers believe there will always be demand for naturally grown beef that is ethically produced by Australian farmers.

Billionaire Bill Gates, Sir Richard Branson and one of the world’s biggest meat companies Cargill are all investing in a US-based start-up company called Memphis Meats.

The company has begun producing chicken, duck and beef by multiplying animal cells in brewery vats, without feeding, breeding or slaughtering actual animals.

On the Virgin website, Sir Richard Branson, who has given up eating beef, speculated that in 30 years or so we would no longer need to kill any animals and all meat would either be “clean or plant-based”.

“One day we will look back and think how archaic our grandparents were in killing animals for food,” he wrote.

A Memphis Meats promotional video described its manufacturing process like this:

First we obtain animal cells, for example from a tenderloin, we identify which cells are self renewing and will be able to produce more starter cells in the future.

We then feed the cells nutrients, the same nutrients that all animals require to grow.

Meat and Livestock Australia’s (MLA) chief marketing and communications officer Lisa Sharp said laboratory-produced meat reflected a significant global ‘more from less’…

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