Environmental groups should back funding for cultured-meat research
To the editor:
Environmental groups like the Sunrise Movement and Greenpeace USA should support federal funding for cultured-meat research. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughter. In addition to animal welfare and public health benefits, this revolutionary protein will help prevent climate change.
“Industrial livestock agriculture — raising cows, pigs and chickens — generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and automobiles combined,” Greenpeace USA itself states. “Cattle ranchers have clear cut millions of acres of forests for grazing pastures, inhibiting the landscape’s ability to absorb carbon from the atmosphere.”
Perhaps environmental groups see cellular agriculture as a “pie in the sky” solution. But nothing could be further from the truth. Cultured meat has already been granted regulatory approval in Singapore, and is even available for home delivery. Meanwhile, an Israeli company has reduced production costs for a quarter pound of cultivated chicken to less than $4.
Despite such progress, federal investment is necessary. Private research generally isn’t shared, for obvious reasons, which hinders development of the field as a whole. That’s why organizations like the Sunrise Movement and Greenpeace USA should support government funding for cultured-meat research. The future of the planet might depend on it.