Source: Yahoo News (Extract)
Posted: June 19, 2021

Retailers could soon be stocking lab-grown pet food, as a start-up investigates regulatory approval to roll out its “humane” and “sustainable” new product.

With growing consumer concern about traditional agriculture’s impact on animal welfare and the environment, US-based Because, Animals are aiming to release a premium alternative.

Grown in an environment free of pathogens, cell-based meat can be created without the use of antibiotics, which are used extensively in traditional animal agriculture, the company’s CEO Shannon Falconer said.

“We’re creating it in a way that’s actually pretty similar to the way probiotics, for example, are grown,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

“(It will be) inside a bioreactor where we feed the cells all the nutrients they need.”

Mouse flesh to be fed to cats in ‘evolutionary appropriate’ plan

Cats will be the first to benefit from a new “ancestral” diet according to the company which has cultured cells from the ears of mice rescued from a research facility.

By using mouse flesh, they hope to reduce allergens which cats often suffer from as a result of consuming beef and chicken.

“In making cultured meat, we really saw this as an opportunity to create the protein from the meat source that is most evolutionarily appropriate for them,” Ms Falconer said.

While the mice used in the project are now retired and living with the son of one of the scientists, their cells will be used to grow an indefinite amount of protein.

Because, Animals has received $6.7 million in funding to date, including investment announced this year from Norwegian conglomerate Orkla. 

The company aims to initially release their product in the US, with a view to expand into European and Asian markets.

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