Cultivated Meat Approved by ANZAC Regulator to Progress to the Next Stage of Assessment

Earlier this year, Vow Foods applied to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, FSANZ, to evaluate its cultured quail as a food ingredient and now, after months of safety investigations, the regulator has concluded that it is safe to eat.

FSANZ is now sharing its findings as part of the public consultation process, giving the public its landmark opportunity to provide feedback about Vow’s cultured quail product as a first example in Australia and New Zealand from the emerging field of cultivated meat production.

Globally, Singapore led the way in 2020 by becoming the first country to approve a cultivated meat product, with the US following as the second in June 2023, while Australia and New Zealand have four companies working in the cultivated meat ecosystem.

Cultivated meat production replicates the biological process of cell growth that occurs within an animal.

It involves taking a small sample of source cells from an animal and placing them into an environment that provides them with the nutrients and conditions they need to grow. The final product is indistinguishable from conventional meat at the cellular level.

Consultancy firm McKinsey and Company projects that by 2030, the global value of cultivated meat could reach up to $25 billion, with the alternative proteins sector potentially contributing $1.1 trillion to the global economy and generating up to 10 million new jobs by 2050.

Countries around the world, such as Singapore, the Netherlands, the USA, Israel, and more recently the UK, have heavily invested in cultivated meat technology and development to shore up food security.

Approval of a cultivated meat product in Australia and New Zealand could stimulate investment and innovation in the emerging field of cellular agriculture, as companies around the world look to Australia and New Zealand as a potential production base, fostering economic investment and advancements in food system innovation for the region.

FSANZ evaluates each novel food product on a case-by-case basis—approval would not apply carte blanche across all cultivated meat products.