Aleph Farms makes historic European cultivated meat submission

Posted: 2 August 2023 | | No comments yet

In a landmark moment, Aleph Farms has made Europe’s first cultivated meat approval submission to Swiss regulators.

cultivated meat

Making European history, Israeli based cultivated meat start-up company Aleph Farms has announced that it is submitted its application to Swiss regulators to sell a cultivated meat product. This is the first application in Europe to sell cultivated meat.

New Food recently reported on advancements in the cultivated meat sector, and informed its readers that UPSIDE Foods made history by making its first consumer sale of cultivated meat in the US.

However, now with Aleph Farms’ announcement concerning advancements in Europe, the Good Food Institute Europe (GFI) has said that Aleph Farms’ cultivated beef skewers could end up on European plates is the submission is successful.

Commenting on the landmark moment, Seth Roberts, Policy Manager at the Good Food Institute Europe, said: “It’s fantastic to see Switzerland leading the way for cultivated meat in Europe.

“Once approved by regulators, Swiss consumers will be able to enjoy their favourite beef dishes, made in a way that could slash climate emissions and create space for more sustainable farming. Cultivated meat represents a huge opportunity for Switzerland to enhance its food security and create future-proof jobs.”

However, Roberts found it “striking” that the application was from Switzerland rather than Brussels, and went on to explain: “With Italy trying to ban cultivated meat while countries like the Netherlands invest, Europe is sending mixed messages to companies who need certainty to be able to deliver on their potential.

“The EU must develop a coherent strategy to support the sustainable protein sector and ensure regulatory processes are clear, to reap the benefits of cultivated meat.”

GFI has outlined that the Swiss regulatory system has a “robust and evidence-based process” when it comes to analysing the safety of novel foods. It went on to explain that, in order for cultured meat to be sold in Switzerland, companies “must apply for authorisation from the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO) by submitting a safety dossier”, a process that is expected to take around 12 months.

“Before a cultivated meat product can be sold in EU member states, it must be approved by regulators in a process governed by the Novel Foods Regulation. The approval process will include a thorough and evidence-based assessment of the safety and nutritional value of cultivated meat and is estimated to take at least 18 months. GFI Europe is not aware of any applications for pre-market authorisation of cultivated meat having been made to the EU to date,” said GFI in a statement.

Sharing his stance on the submission, Chris Elliot, Professor at Queens University Belfast, said: Slowly cultured meat products are entering the marketplace in different parts of the world.

“There remains many questions to answer if such food products going forward will gain more than a niche consumer acceptance and if the claims about being more environmentally friendly that livestock produced meat can ever be justified,” Elliot concluded.

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