GOOD Meat, the cultivated meat division of food technology company Eat Just, Inc., recently announced (June 21) that it has received approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its first poultry product, cultivated chicken, to enter interstate commerce. This landmark clearance means the firm’s chicken, which is made directly from animal cells, can now be sold to American consumers.
This watershed moment for the burgeoning cultivated meat, poultry and seafood sector, and for the global food industry, comes on the heels of the USDA’s approval of GOOD Meat’s label – and four months after the company received its “no questions” letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The March milestone indicated the FDA accepted the company’s conclusion that its cultivated chicken is safe to eat and allowed the USDA to begin its part of the regulatory process outlined in a 2019 agreement between the agencies.
“This announcement that we’re now able to produce and sell cultivated meat in the United States is a major moment for our company, the industry and the food system. We have been the only company selling cultivated meat anywhere in the world since we launched in Singapore in 2020, and now it’s approved to sell to consumers in the world’s largest economy. We appreciate the rigor and thoughtfulness that both the FDA and USDA have applied during this historic two-agency regulatory process,” said Josh Tetrick, co-founder and CEO of GOOD Meat and Eat Just.
GOOD Meat won multiple regulatory approvals for its chicken in Singapore in 2020 and 2021, and in January 2023 received a key clearance that paves the way for greater scalability, lower manufacturing costs and a more sustainable product. Since its Singapore launch, the company’s chicken has been featured on menus at fine dining establishments, popular hawker stalls, via the foodpanda delivery platform and most recently by reservation at Huber’s Butchery, one of Singapore’s premier producers and suppliers of high-quality meats.
In the United States, under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), all meat and poultry sold commercially must pass inspection to ensure that it is safe, wholesome and properly labeled. To accomplish this, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) places inspectors in slaughterhouses and processing plants — and for the first time in history, will assign inspectors to GOOD Meat and other cultivated meat and poultry facilities that follow.
As part of the USDA’s approval, GOOD Meat received a grant of inspection for its demonstration plant in Alameda, California, as has its contract manufacturing partner, JOINN Biologics. The comprehensive vetting includes facilities and equipment; standard operating procedure for sanitation; and the systematic approach to identification, evaluation and control of food safety hazards known as HACCP.
Immediately after receiving the grant of inspection, production started for the first batch of cultivated chicken that will be sold to celebrated restaurateur and humanitarian Chef José Andrés. Andrés, who is owner of José Andrés Group, which operates more than 30 restaurants across the country, previously shared that a yet-to-be-disclosed restaurant in Washington, D.C. would be the first in the country to serve GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken.
About Eat Just, Inc.
Eat Just is a food technology company with a mission to build a healthier, safer and more sustainable food system in our lifetimes. The company’s expertise, from functionalizing plant proteins to culturing animal cells, is powered by a world-class team of scientists and chefs spanning more than a dozen research disciplines. Eat Just created one of America’s fastest-growing egg brands, which is made entirely of plants, and the world’s first-to-market meat made from animal cells instead of slaughtered livestock. The company has been recognized as one of Fast Company’s “Most Innovative Companies,” Entrepreneur’s “100 Brilliant Companies,” CNBC’s “Disruptor 50” and a World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer. JUST Egg has been named among Popular Science’s “100 Greatest Innovations” and Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas” and the history-making debut of GOOD Meat was heralded as one of 2020’s top scientific breakthroughs by The Guardian, Vox and WIRED.Array