Because growing meat through cell culture is so novel a process, many questions about the safety of cultured meat products remain unanswered.
This industry-wide initiative was designed in partnership with Vireo Advisors to begin a data-driven conversation about the safety of cultured meat. 50 cultured meat companies shared insights into their manufacturing process and related safety issues. This “listening campaign” informed a series of workshops, which resulted in a body of publicly available information about the safety considerations of cultured meat.
87 people from 50 cultured meat companies participated in this initiative, representing over 60%1 of the global cultured meat industry.
Three workshops culminated in a peer-reviewed paper in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety that charts a path forward for how we can demonstrate the safety of cultured meat.
A forthcoming digital tool will translate the findings into easy-to-understand terms, increasing practical use of the publication.
1Percent calculated by dividing the number of companies who participated in the initiative (50) by the number of companies we reached out to (83) in the fall of 2020. Although the number of cultured meat companies is constantly in flux, we assessed it to be around 83 at the time based on publicly available information (i.e. not including stealth companies).
March, 2021 – New Harvest successfully raises $4,000 to ensure the publication remains open access when published in a peer-reviewed journal, and another $10,000 to translate the findings into a digital tool.
February, 2021 – Preprint publication goes live.
September – October 2020 – New Harvest and Vireo Advisors host three workshops with industry leaders, getting feedback about and iterating upon the process diagram at the heart of the publication.
August, 2020 – New Harvest circulates a project brief to potential funders.
June, 2020 – New Harvest and Vireo Advisors formally begin the initiative.
This initiative was conceived of and carried out in partnership with Dr. Jo Anne Shatkin and Dr. Kimberly Ong of Vireo Advisors, an expert advisory consultancy focused on the safe and sustainable commercialization of new technologies.
We worked with Allen Gunn of Aspiration Tech, a leader in innovative gatherings for nonprofits, to design the three workshops.
New Harvest research fellows Vanessa Haley-Benjamin, Alexis Garrett, Samuel Peabody IV, Natalie Rubio, Andrew Stout, and John Yuen provided technical expertise as facilitators.
The publication was authored by Kimberly J. Ong,2 Jeremiah Johnston,3 Isha Datar,3 Vincent Sewalt,4 Dwayne Holmes,5 and Jo Anne Shatkin.2
This initiative was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition, Tipping Point Private Foundation, Erin Culley and Richard Carlson, and the Center of Complex Interventions.
The publication with our findings will remain fully open access thanks to the generous contributions of Wendy Alcorn.
This initiative’s forthcoming digital tool to increase practical access and use of the publication was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of 29 members of the New Harvest community, including but not limited to: Karin Conradi, Axel Fehr, Kiran Karra, Kira Kiviat, Nicolas Lacombe, Roman Lauš, Jeremy Piacente, Kelly Tessitore, and Tipping Point Private Foundation.