'Lab-grown meat': China’s 5-year agricultural plan with ‘future foods’

WION Web Team
NEW DELHIUpdated: Feb 02, 2022, 12:42 PM IST

Lab-grown meat Photograph:(Twitter)

Story highlights

For the first time, China has included cultivated meat and other "future foods" in its five-year agricultural plan.

It could be a portent of things to come, as China is one of the world's largest consumers of meat and eggs.

The Chinese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs just unveiled its official Five-Year Agricultural Plan, which includes farmed meat for the first time.

The research discusses how innovation in "border and cross-disciplinary technologies," which include farmed meat, should be promoted.

According to GFI APAC, this indicates that Chinese officials feel farmed meat production is in the national interest, making it very probable that the government will increase investment in the sector. 

The Chinese government has already taken steps in the direction of lab - grown meat, announcing in June a three-year government-funded initiative named "High-efficiency biological manufacturing technology of artificial meat."

Several alternative protein research teams have received funding from China's National Natural Science Foundation, and the China Meat Food Research Center and Beijing Academy of Food Sciences are working on technologies to 3D print cultured meat.

Watch | Israelis taste the future with lab-grown chicken

Meanwhile, China's Ministry of Science and Technology has developed a programme dubbed "Green Biological Manufacturing" to fund sustainability-focused research initiatives, including a number of plant-based and cultured meat-related ventures. 

Many Chinese enterprises are working on cultured meat, in addition to government-funded research initiatives.

HEROTEIN, a Shanghai-based alternative meat company, is collaborating with Mission Barns, a cultivated fat producer based in the United States, to bring hybrid cultivated and plant-based meats to market.

According to research, Chinese customers are significantly more accepting of cultured meat than Western consumers, with a recent survey suggesting that 90% of Chinese consumers would eat it. 

(With inputs from agencies)