NETHERLANDS – The Dutch House of Representatives have voted in favour of a motion requesting that cultivated meat producers be allowed to conduct tasting sessions of their products. 

The vote marks an ‘important step’ for the food industry as it removes one more barrier in the quest to introduce ‘safe’ and ‘healthy’ cultivated meat products to the market. 

To date, cultivated meat has received regulatory approval in one geography only: Singapore. 

While the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has yet to give the novel food its thumbs up, tastings of cultivated meat products can be legally conducted in Member States France and Germany. 

In the Netherlands, where the first cultivated meat product was first created, this is not the case, until now.  

Cultivated meat players in the Netherlands have welcomed the outcome of the Dutch House of Representatives’ vote. 

Mosa Meat which created the first cultured hamburger back in 2013 was the first to welcome the decision by the Dutch lawmakers. 

“We are excited to see strong political support for cellular agriculture in the House of Representatives,” said Robert E. Jones, head of public affairs at Mosa Meat. 

 “The Netherlands has always been a leader in food systems innovation and there is a real sense of pride in cultivated meat as a Dutch invention.” 

Another Dutch cell-based meat start-up Meatable – which is working with porcine and bovine stem cells – was also upbeat about the future opportunities that the new legislation presented.  

“The fact that our House of Representatives voted in favour of allowing cultivated meat tastings will make it easier for us to carry out the tastings we need in order to improve our products right on our doorstep,” said Meatable CTO and co-founder Daan L Luining.  

Meatable is looking to take a ‘broader’ approach to testing and giving consumers more ‘insight’ in the development of this new product, so that they feed educated and understand the wider context for this new food type.  

“For example, up until now, we were not allowed to film a chef or consumer panel tasting the product. This is possible in many places in the EU, but not in our own country.  

That they voted in favour of this legislation means we can start the necessary tastings soon.”  

For Mosa Meat, the vote is ‘another sign’ of the ‘building momentum’ for adding cellular agriculture to the toolbox of solutions needed to achieve the goals of the Green Deal and Farm to Fork strategy. 

Singapore granted regulatory approval to a cell-cultured meat ingredient in late 2020. In the US, where cultivated meat has yet to be approved, regulators have created a regulatory framework specific to foods cultured from animal cells.  

In Europe, progress appears slower. Indeed, the EFSA’s risk assessment processes has previously been described as ‘too rigid and too slow’.  

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