on cultivated meat

Since the announcement of cultivated meat in 2013, the various livestock and agribusiness lobbies have realised that this innovation could ruin their economic interests. That’s why they started spreading a series of fake news to scare people about this historic innovation that is going to create an ethical, ecological and health revolution.


Misinformation is aimed at scaring consumers by trying to spread the idea that in-vitro meat is harmful to health. They rely on the fear of the new and on the assumption that everything that is natural is good, while everything that is unnatural is bad or dangerous. This is obviously not true: drugs are artificial and manufactured in the laboratory but they save lives while mushrooms are natural but many of them can poison and kill us.

In vitro meat is less susceptible to bacteria and decomposition because it is much more controlled than conventional meat, with less exposure to toxic chemicals such as pesticides and fungicides.

Source: P. D Edelman, D. C. McFarland, V. A. Mironov e J. G. Matheny, In vitro-cultured meat production, in Tissue Engineering, vol. 11, 5–6, 2005, pp. 659–662, DOI:10.1089/ten.2005.11.659, PMID 15998207.


„Cultivated meat is full of antibiotics“

ASSOCARNI, an association of Italian agricultural, livestock and meat industry lobby, writes: “In-vitro burgers are full of antibiotics”.

Antibiotics are used on farms because the animals are subjected to unspeakable stress due to lifelong captivity, which weakens their immune system and makes them susceptible to disease and the transmission of bacteria.
For this cruelty, the whole humanity is punished with antibiotic resistance, i.e. the bacteria develop immunity and the drugs become useless. For example, many people who were previously treated with colistin are now dying.

On the other hand, no antibiotics are used in cultivated meat. This would solve the problem of antibiotic resistance forever.

„Cultivated meat is carcinogenic“

COLDIRETTI, an Italian agribusiness association, writes: “The high rate of cell proliferation can lead to genetic instability of cells by promoting the potential multiplication of sporadic cancer cells. 

The cancer risk does not appear to be relevant. You have to remember that the meat is cooked, and if it is not cooked, it is decomposed in the digestive tract. The risk of cancer is very different from certain conditions in regenerative medicine, where living cells are injected.

no cancer

„This meat does not contain animal protein“

COLDIRETTI, an Italian agribusiness association, writes: “In addition, there are the risks of nutritional deficiencies associated with the absence of animal protein, which are well documented in the history of mankind by a vast medical literature and which cause serious and sometimes irreversible symptoms of disease, especially in children.”

Cultivated meat is real meat. It’s just wrong to say it doesn’t contain animal protein.

Is cultivated meat unhealthy?

Meat per se is certainly not one of the healthiest foods. Vegetables are undoubtedly the best food for health. But compared to conventional meat, there is no doubt: cultivated meat is definitely healthier, for many reasons.

1 - It is not GMO

The production of cultured meat does not require genetic engineering techniques such as inserting, deleting, switching off, activating or mutating genes. Cultivated meat production allows biological processes that normally take place in the animal to be carried out without letting the animal run. Since cultivated meat is grown in a controlled artificial environment, some have said that cultivated meat is more like hydroponic vegetables than GM vegetables. (1) 

Further research on cultivated meat is underway, and although cultivated meat does not require genetic engineering, researchers could use such techniques to improve quality and sustainability. The enrichment of cultured meat with nutrients, such as useful fatty acids, is an improvement that can be made possible by genetic modification. The same improvement can be achieved without genetic modification by manipulating the conditions of the culture medium. Genetic changes can increase the proliferation of muscle cells.

The introduction of myogenic regulatory factors, growth factors or other gene products into muscle cells can increase production compared to conventional meat. (2)

In order to avoid the use of animal products, the use of photosynthetic algae and cyanobacteria to produce the main constituents of culture media was proposed instead of fetal bovine or equine serum. (3)

Some researchers propose to improve the ability of algae and cyanobacteria to produce ingredients for culture media using certain technologies. (4)

2 - Healthy fat instead of harmful fat

Researchers have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids could be added to cultivated meat as a health bonus. (5) 

Similarly, the content of omega-3 fatty acids in conventional meat can be increased by changing animal nutrition.

(6) Research is under way in Spain to develop cultured meat with healthier fats, which could reduce the risk of cholesterol and colorectal cancer typically associated with the consumption of red meat. (7)

3 - No pollution with bacteria

In an issue of “Time” magazine, it was explained that the cell culture process can also reduce the exposure of the meat to bacteria and diseases. (8) 

Due to the strictly controlled and predictable environment, cultivated meat production was compared with vertical agriculture. Some advocates predict similar benefits in terms of reducing exposure to hazardous chemicals such as pesticides and fungicides, serious injuries and wildlife. (9)


4 - No antibiotics, no hormones

One of the many misinformation spread by the meat lobby is that cultivated meat is full of antibiotics. “In-vitro hamburgers are full of antibiotics”, Assocarni claims. (10) 

As cultivated meat is grown in a sterile environment, no antibiotics are required. (11) The widespread use of antibiotics in conventional agriculture is today the main cause of antibiotic resistance in humans. (12) According to the World Health Organization, antimicrobial resistance is “an increasingly serious threat to global public health, requiring action at all levels of government and society” (13), and is expected to cause up to 10 million deaths per year by 2050. (14)

Cultivated meat could be an effective solution to reduce this serious threat to human health. 

In addition, the large-scale production of cultured meat does not require the addition of artificial growth hormones for meat production. (15) (16)


  1. Sandhana, Lakshmi. “Test Tube Meat Nears Dinner Table”. Archived from the original on 19 August 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  2. Vein, John. “Patent US6835390”. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  3. Haagsman, H.P.; K.J. HelIingwerf; B.A.J. Roelen (October 2009). “Production of Animal Proteins by Cell Systems” (PDF). Universiteit Utrecht: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine: 13–14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 November 2013. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  4. Tuomisto, Hanna L.; Teixeira de Mattos, M. J. (22–24 September 2010). “Life cycle assessment of cultured meat production” (PDF): 5. Archived from the original on 3 February 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  5. Macintyre, Ben (20 January 2007). “Test-tube meat science’s next leap”The Australian. Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 26 November 2011. 
  6. Azcona, J.O.; Schang, M.J.; Garcia, P.T.; Gallinger, C.; Ayerza, R. (2008). “Omega-3 enriched broiler meat: The influence of dietary alpha-linolenic omega-3 fatty acid sources on growth, performance and meat fatty acid composition”. Canadian Journal of Animal Science, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. 88 (2): 257–269. doi:10.4141/cjas07081
  7. “Spanish government invests € 5.2 million in cultured meat project”. Retrieved 12 January 2022. 
  8. Siegelbaum, D.J. (23 April 2008). “In Search of a Test-Tube Hamburger”. (Time Magazine). Archived from the original on 22 January 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2009. 
  9. Despommier, D. (2008). “Vertical Farm Essay I”. Vertical Farm. Archived from the original on 1 July 2009. Retrieved 26 June 2009. 
  11. “Could lab-grown meat prevent the next pandemic?”. ZME Science. 14 January 2021. Retrieved 12 January 2022. 
  12. Martin, Michael J.; Thottathil, Sapna E; Newman, Thomas B. (December 2015). “Antibiotics Overuse in Animal Agriculture: A Call to Action for Health Care Providers”. American Journal of Public Health. 105 2409–2410. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2015.302870. ISSN 0090-0036. PMC 4638249. PMID 26469675
  13. “Antibiotic resistance” – – Retrieved 12 January 2022. 
  14. “UN, global health agencies sound alarm on drug-resistant infections; new recommendations to reduce ‘staggering number’ of future deaths”. UN News. 29 April 2019. Retrieved 12 January 2022. 
  15. Edelman, P. D; McFarland, D. C.; Mironov, V. A.; Matheny, J. G. (2005). “In vitro-cultured meat production”. Tissue Engineering. 11 (5–6): 659–662. doi:10.1089/ten.2005.11.659PMID 15998207