Good Meat, the cultivated meat division of Bay Area food technology company Eat Just, has received a “no questions” letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its cultivated chicken.
The FDA has accepted Eat Just’s conclusion that its first poultry product, cultivated chicken, is safe to eat, clearing a crucial step in bringing GOOD Meat to restaurants and retail in the U.S.
The “no questions” letter comes as part of one of the agency’s first pre-market consultations for meat, poultry, and seafood made from cells instead of conventionally raised animals. It followed a similar clearance for fellow Bay Area producer Upside Foods that came from the FDA late last year.
Good Meat’s cultivated chicken was the first in the world to earn regulatory approval, which was granted by the Singapore Food Agency in 2020. Good Meat won several regulatory approvals for its chicken in Singapore since 2020; it remains the only cultivated meat producer in the world with the ability to sell to consumers.
“Today’s news is more than just another regulatory decision – it’s food system transformation in action,” Bruce Friedrich, president of The Good Food Institute, said in a statement. “Good Meat has become the second cultivated meat company to receive the go-ahead from FDA for its cultivated chicken, bringing cultivated meat closer to becoming a real choice for American consumers. Consumers and future generations deserve the foods they love made more sustainably and in ways that benefit the public good – ways that preserve our land and water, that protect our climate and global health, ways that allow for food security. Global demand for meat is projected to increase significantly by 2050. A few governments around the world are beginning to prioritize alternative proteins as a solution that accounts for this growing consumer demand while also achieving national climate and development goals, but far more need to follow suit.”
Since its launch, Good Meat’s chicken has been featured on menus across Singapore including at fine dining establishments, hawker stalls, via the foodpanda delivery platform, and at Huber’s Butchery, one of Singapore’s premier producers and suppliers of high-quality meats.
The company is now working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on necessary approvals before world-renowned chef and humanitarian José Andrés is slated to become the first in the country to offer Good Meat’s chicken to customers at his restaurant in Washington, D.C.
“The future of our planet depends on how we feed ourselves…and we have a responsibility to look beyond the horizon for smarter, sustainable ways to eat. Good Meat is doing just that, pushing the boundary on innovative new solutions, and I’m excited for everyone to taste the result,” Andrés said in a statement.
Imminent regulatory approval
The recent green lights from the FDA for both Good Meat and Upside Foods signal that the cultivated meat industry could be up and running in the U.S. within the next year or two. The U.S. requires a two-pronged approval process for cultivated meat involving both the FDA and the USDA. Experts predict cultivated meat could become a $25 billion global industry by 2030.
Good Meat claims that surveys conducted on its cultivated chicken show a wide approval rating in Singapore with 70 percent of respondents who tried it claiming it tastes as good as or better than conventional chicken. Nearly 90 percent said they would opt for the cultivated chicken instead of conventional, and nearly as many restaurants said they would be open to selling the meat.
The benefits of cultivated meat are significant, especially when produced with renewable energy, according to a recent LCA. It has the potential to address many of the challenges associated with traditional meat production, including environmental concerns, animal welfare, and public health.
“While I will always support family farmers’ efforts to feed the world, forward-thinking companies like Good Meat are tackling food security, nutrition and environmental stewardship in new and exciting ways,” said Dan Glickman, Good Meat Advisory Board member; former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture and member of the U.S. House of Representatives. “Receiving a ‘no questions’ letter from the FDA and a subsequent clearance from the USDA will allow Good Meat to scale up manufacturing and begin introducing its products to American consumers,” he said.
“Just as the United States has been a global leader in modernizing conventional food and agriculture techniques, it too can lead in the emerging alternative protein space. Today’s announcement is one such example.”
Mirte Gosker, managing director of the Good Food Institute APAC, said in a statement that the decision was historic for both sides of the Pacific: “This week’s FDA greenlight opens the door to additional regulatory and scientific collaboration between two of the world’s leading innovation hubs and moves cultivated meat one step closer to becoming a truly global business.”