CCMB to develop lab-grown meat


Union Minister Maneka Gandhi addressing the media along with CCMB Director Dr Rakesh Mishra at CCMB


The CSIR-Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and Humane Society International (HSI) India have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop and promote clean meat in India. ‘Clean meat’ is nothing but laboratory grown meat. Union Minister Maneka Gandhi who was in the city for ‘The Future of Protein: A summit on the new food revolution’ at the CSIRCellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) pitched for lab grown meat.

Speaking to the media she said, “Clean meat has been invented. The cellular multiplications of meat cells in a meat serum are already there. The point is, how do we put it into a commercial form and how do we involve industry?”

Gandhi said CCMB should conduct research on the subject and make the data available to all as the technology would remain expensive (and may not replace animals) if foreign countries are allowed to develop and distribute it in the country.

The technology on ‘clean meat’ is at an advanced stage in the US with people having already gone into trials and it may also get Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognition by next year, she said. She said that the animal meat may not be healthy. “The world is eating dirty meat. Do you think that by washing, it becomes clean? No. Because, it itself there are so many diseases. Foot and mouth, tuberculosis … leukaemia, these are only a few of the things,”

she said. She further added that the way we grow food is the single biggest reason for climate change, hunger, lack of water and disease. Livestock uses 70 percent of all agricultural land and accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and 8 percent of human water usage. Meat production is so wildly inefficient. We feed a cow 11 kilograms of food to get 1 kilogram of beef. Cows, buffaloes and goats eat up the forest. They are the biggest greenhouse gas emitters. Beef is raised on food humans could eat (soy, corn) rather than food humans can’t eat (grass). Meat production is expected to be more than doubled by 2050. The only way we can change this and save ourselves is to alter the way we eat. She opined.

Consuming animal meat is a burden on the environment as well in view of the food grains to be fed to the animals and the amount of water they consume, she said.

Citing a study report, Gandhi said substantial percentages of consumers favoured consumption of clean meat.“The fact that it is called clean meat, immediately has a resonance,” she said.

Asked about the argument that meat is seen as a source of protein for poor people, she said it is better to eat good protein.

“I am not attempting to put you on to a plant-based diet even though I would like to. I am saying that I cannot stop you from eating meat. So, why not eat good meat? Take the best possible cells. Multiply them… Clean meat means meat that has been multiplied by using animal cells,” she said.

“Therefore, you inspect the cells. They will be not be carrying disease. They will be multiplied in sterile conditions…,” she said.

“Everything about every part and organ of the human body is vegetarian. When we put an alien substance like meat into the human body, we become prone to diseases,” “If you do this on a daily basis,” she added, “Your body will weaken. You will not die of eating meat, but it will certainly weaken your body, making it more vulnerable to diseases.” she said.

Dr Rakesh Mishra, Director, CSIRCCMB said “Clean meat, while it is an exciting possibility, needs major technological innovations for the necessary scaling up and reduction in production cost.


Source : thehansindia



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