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Food & Drug Administration clears first lab-grown meat product for human consumption

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Last week the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for the first time ever, approved a unique “meat product”. Reported by Reuters, the FDA announced the product is “grown from animal cells for human consumption.”

In a release from the FDA, it announced UPSIDE Foods, a company that makes cell-cultured chicken by harvesting cells from live animals and using the cells to grow meat in stainless-steel tanks, will bring the new “meat” product to market once it has been inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

“The world is experiencing a food revolution and the (FDA) is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply,”¬†said FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf and Susan Mayne, director of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition in a statement.

Documents released by the FDA stated it had reviewed data from the company and had no further questions about the company’s conclusion that its product is safe for humans to eat.

“We are thrilled at FDA’s announcement,” said David Kay, UPSIDE’s director of communications, in an email. “This historic step paves the way for our path to market.”

Reuters reports:

The review is not technically an approval and applies only to UPSIDE products, though the agency is ready to work with other firms developing cultured animal cell food, the FDA said in a release.

USDA and FDA together regulate cell-cultured meat under a 2019 agreement between the two agencies. USDA will oversee the processing and labeling of cell-cultured meat products.

Demand for alternatives to farmed meat has grown alongside awareness of the high greenhouse gas emissions of raising livestock. Cultivated chicken was served to attendees at this year’s COP27 climate conference in Egypt.

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Environment

White House Strangles Hydrogen Industry Growth with Overreaching Tax Credit Restrictions

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In a move that could stifle innovation and economic growth, the White House, Treasury Department, and Department of Energy jointly released guidance on Friday morning, imposing stringent restrictions on hydrogen power development eligible for federal tax credits. The proposed guidance, tied to the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act’s highest production credit of $3 per kilogram of hydrogen, is seen by critics as an attempt to align with green energy standards at the expense of economic considerations.

According to reports from Fox News, opposition to the restrictions comes from business and clean power industry groups, arguing that the measures could deter investment, increase hydrogen costs, and unfairly discriminate against existing low-carbon power sources. Critics view the move as a departure from the market-driven approach that encourages growth and innovation.

Moreover, despite the administration’s claims that the hydrogen tax credit will foster a cleaner industry, skeptics point to potential economic ramifications. John Podesta, President Biden’s clean energy czar, and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm have lauded the move as a step towards global clean energy leadership, but critics argue that such measures risk stifling job creation and economic opportunity.

The proposed regulations, with a 10-year availability for tax credits ranging from $0.60 to $3 per kilogram, raise concerns about government overreach in dictating industry standards. Critics argue that the administration’s insistence on strict regulations could hinder the hydrogen industry’s ability to provide meaningful alternatives for hard-to-decarbonize sectors and reach competitive market prices.

As opposition mounts from industry groups and Senate Democrats, who advocate for a more gradual approach, the clash over hydrogen tax credits underscores the ongoing struggle to balance environmental objectives with economic considerations in the clean energy sector.

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