Lab-grown meat can be kosher and halal, religious scholars say

Lab-grown meat can be kosher and halal, religious scholars say
meal with lab-grown chicken

The Jewish Orthodox Union recently certified a strain of lab-grown chicken as kosher for the first time, “marking a significant step forward for the food technology’s acceptance under Jewish dietary law,” according to the Times of Israel.

Islamic jurists consulted by a leading producer of cultivated meat say that lab-grown meat — which is cultivated from animal cells and doesn’t require animals to be slaughtered — can be halal, or allowed under Muslim law. The halal ruling “opens up cultivated meat to 2 billion more people across the world,” says Josh Tetrick, the CEO of Good Meat, which produces lab-grown meat.

Good Meat, which recently began selling its lab-grown chicken in America, solicited a Sharia opinion from three “well-respected scholars in Saudi Arabia” and got a conditional thumbs-up, the company said. To be halal, the lab-grown meat has to meet three conditions: 1. The cell line of the meat has to come from an animal that is permissible for Muslims to eat, like a chicken or cow; 2.The animal behind the cell line must be slaughtered according to Islamic law; and 3. The nutrients fed to the animal cells as they’re grown in the lab must not include any substances Muslims are forbidden to consume, such as spilled blood, alcohol or matter extracted from pigs.

Around the same time,  the certifying authority Orthodox Union Kosher recognized as kosher the poultry products from SuperMeat, an Israeli startup, concluding that they complied with “the most stringent qualifications for kosher supervision,” reported the Times of Israel.

On the other hand, the American Halal Foundation says in its guide to cultivated meat that “most current products that exist would not be considered halal due to the fact that the cell lines are taken from alive animals” rather than ones slaughtered in the fashion mandated by Islamic law.

Similarly, some rabbis argue that lab-grown meat isn’t kosher if it is cultivated from the cells of living creatures.

LU Staff

LU Staff

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