After extensive safety investigations, Australian food tech company Vow Foods has achieved a significant milestone in the cultivated meat sector. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has declared Vow's cultivated quail meat safe for consumption. (see food images below).
This decision follows Vow Foods' application to FSANZ earlier this year and now opens the floor to public consultation.
In a unique win for 'food Democrats' in Australia and New Zealand, FSANZ is inviting the public to voice opinion on Vow’s cultivated quail, a product at the forefront of cell-based meat production in the ANZ region.
The community has a six-week window to contribute their views on what is being hailed as "one of the most innovative foods we have seen in the country (Australia) in a long time," per Vow Foods' statement.
Source: PFN copyright
The global cultivated meat sector has seen significant advancements, with Singapore leading the charge in 2020 as the first country to approve a cultivated meat product. The United States followed suit in June 2023. In the Australasian context, four companies, including Vow Foods, are spearheading the cultivated meat ecosystem.
Dr. Simon Eassom, Executive Director of Food Frontier, praised FSANZ for its thorough evaluation of the safety of Vow’s cultured quail product.
“This is an exciting step, particularly in light of the ongoing conversations at COP28 about the need for innovative food technologies to meet the growing demand for meat without exacerbating ecological and environmental degradation," says Dr Eassom.
Cultivated meat is seen as a crucial component of alternative protein production, offering a sustainable solution to meet protein demands without the significant environmental impact associated with current food systems. These impacts range from greenhouse gas emissions to water usage, eutrophication, land use, and deforestation for feedstock production.
The potential economic impact of this innovation is substantial. McKinsey and Company project that by 2030, the global value of cultivated meat could reach up to US$25 billion. The broader alternative proteins sector could contribute as much as US$1.1 trillion to the global economy and generate up to 10 million new jobs by 2050.
Source: VOW Food - Fine Dining cultivated quail dishes including a parfait to be sold under the 'FORGED' Brand. (use slider to view images)
The approval of Vow Foods' cultured quail product could also stimulate significant investment and innovation in cellular agriculture within the region, potentially making Australia and New Zealand attractive production bases for companies worldwide.
FSANZ’s approach to novel food products remains cautious, with each product undergoing case-by-case evaluation. Approval for Vow's cultured quail does not imply a blanket approval for all cultivated meat products, ensuring a meticulous and safety-focused progression into this new frontier of food technology.
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