The World Health Organization and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) have announced a webinar to discuss and examine cell-based foods and their production processes, scheduled for April 5.
Two identical sessions will be held on April 5—one at 9 am GMT and another at 4 pm GMT. Session Link
Cell-based food production involves growing animal products from cell cultures. Cell-based chicken nuggets were approved in Singapore in December 2020.
FAO has already produced three background documents on the topic with another publication on food safety aspects of such products to be released during the webinar. The latter will cover relevant terminology, principles of cell-based food production processes, and global regulatory frameworks. Case studies from Israel, Qatar, and Singapore are featured.
The announcement of the webinar signals a new focus on the shift in the global food industry towards more sustainable and ethical ways of producing food. Cell-based foods, also known as cultured or lab-grown foods, can be produced without the need for animal agriculture, which can be resource-intensive, environmentally damaging, and ethically concerning. By supporting the development of cell-based foods, the WHO and FAO are recognizing the potential of this new technology to provide a more sustainable and humane food system.
This announcement will help to increase awareness and education about cell-based foods among policymakers, industry stakeholders, and the general public. The webinar will provide an opportunity for experts to share their knowledge and insights about the development, safety, and regulation of cell-based foods, and to address any concerns or questions that people may have about this emerging industry.
By providing guidance and support to the industry, and by creating a framework for regulation and safety, the WHO and FAO could help to ensure that cell-based foods are produced and marketed in a responsible and sustainable way, and that they are accessible to consumers around the world.
Overall, the WHO and FAO's focus on cell-based foods and their announcement of the first webinar on the topic is a significant step forward for the global food industry, and a sign of the growing recognition of the potential of this new technology to transform the way we produce and consume food.