Aleph farms makes groundbreaking move: cultivated meat submission in Europe

August 10, 2023

Israeli startup Aleph Farms has taken a historic step, being the first to apply for regulatory approval to sell cultivated meat in Europe. By submitting its application to Swiss authorities, the company has sparked a significant move for the meat-alternative market. This comes after the successful approval of two cultivated chicken products in the United States, showing a clear and increasing trend towards alternative protein sources.

The cultivated meat, which includes products such as Aleph Farm’s beef skewers, is predicted to be a game-changer, offering a more sustainable alternative to traditional farming methods.

The European stance on cultivated meat

The move has been greeted with enthusiasm by industry experts, with the Good Food Institute’s Policy Manager, Seth Roberts, highlighting Switzerland’s role in paving the way for the cultivated meat sector in Europe. However, Roberts also pointed out the disparities in attitudes towards cultivated meat across the continent. While some countries like the Netherlands are supportive, others like Italy have been resistant, sending mixed signals to companies like Aleph Farms that need regulatory certainty to realize their full potential.

Regulatory procedures in Switzerland and the EU

To get its products to the Swiss market, Aleph Farms must now undergo a robust and evidence-based regulatory process, including comprehensive safety and toxicology assessments, with the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office (FSVO). This process is expected to last around 12 months. For EU member states, the approval process is slightly longer, taking up to 18 months, and is governed by the Novel Foods Regulation. However, to date, no applications for pre-market authorisation of cultivated meat have been made to the EU. Experts suggest that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) could provide more clarity and support to producers by developing a similar application template as the Swiss FSVO.

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