SINGAPORE – Singapore’s Fatwa Committee, part of the Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS), has declared that the consumption of cultivated meat is permissible as halal under certain conditions.

The significant decision potentially opens up a market of over two billion halal consumers globally, constituting about 25% of the world’s population.

The announcement follows the approval of cultivated chicken meat sales by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), prompting the MUIS to review the permissibility of cultivated meat for Muslim consumption.

The fatwa, or religious ruling, was revealed at a two-day conference titled “Fatwa in Contemporary Sciences” held by the MUIS.

The conditions set by the Fatwa Committee to ensure cultivated meat is halal include that, cells must be taken from animals that are halal to consume. Cells from animals such as pigs or those forbidden in Shariah are not permissible.

Secondly, every ingredient forming the texture and composition of cultivated meat, including stem cells, the medium for cell reproduction, and any food additives, must be halal and lastly the product must be non-toxic and clean.

While currently, no cell-based meat products meet these guidelines, the announcement is seen as a positive development for the industry.

Halal certification is expected to play a crucial role in expanding the market for cultivated meat, allowing Muslim consumers to make informed choices based on their dietary preferences.

The move aligned with a ruling by a panel of Sharia scholars in Saudi Arabia last year, which concluded that cell-based meat can meet halal standards after examining the production process.

According to the Fatwa Committee, the decision reflects Islamic principles aimed at preserving human life, protecting the environment, and adhering to the legal principle that whatever is beneficial is permissible.

“The announcement is seen as a step toward inclusivity, efficiency, and sustainability in protein production. It is also anticipated to contribute to the global acceptance of alternative and sustainable food solutions.”

However, for halal-certified cultivated meat produced in Singapore to be exported, regulatory frameworks in export markets, such as the US, need to be in place.

The ethical considerations of cell-based meat production, including the use of Fetal Bovine Serum (FBS), are acknowledged by the Fatwa Committee.

The decision also supported the industry’s engagement with religious authorities to address concerns and make products suitable for religious consumers.

Singapore’s stance on alternative proteins, including insect protein, has been positive, emphasizing the need to invest in sustainable food sources.

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