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Dutch stem cell hamburger ready to grill this autumn

Monday 20 February 2012

Dutch scientists expect to be able to grill their first hamburger using meat grown in a laboratory this autumn, the professor in charge of the project, Mark Post, told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this weekend.

Post's team at Maastricht University has grown small pieces of muscle about 2cm long, 1cm wide and about a mm thick, the BBC says. The strips are off-white and will be mixed with blood and artificially grown fat to produce a hamburger by the autumn.

The aim of the research is to develop a more efficient way of producing meat than rearing animals and Post believes synthetic meat could cut the environmental footprint of livestock farming by 60%.

According to the Independent, Post hopes top British chef Heston Blumenthal will cook the pattie, which will have cost €250,000 to produce. Post said the project's anonymous backer had not yet decided who would get to eat the world's most expensive hamburger, which will be unveiled at a ceremony in Maastricht in October.

Post declined to tell the paper who his backer is, except to say that he was well known but not a celebrity – and not British. 'It's a very reputable source of money,' he said.

Lab-grown meat is first step to artificial hamburger
Would you eat a burger grown in a laboratory?

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

I don't know about the rest of you but I don't fancy eating "meat" or any (so called) food produced in a lab.
The human body was not meant for this!
Look at reports of recently encountered "native" peoples. Compare the reports on their health before and after their encounter with modern society.
Health always declines once they switch to a western diet. I think this should tell us something about our modern food production methods.

By Donaugh | 20 February 2012 12:38 PM

This artificial hamburger sounds even more disgusting and no more appetizing than McDonald's 'pink slime' (aka, ammonium hydroxide. I'm turning vegetarian more and more each day to avoid becoming a scientific guinea pig or lab rat.

By jansen | 20 February 2012 3:47 PM

Frankenstein did the same in his lab and see what happened. ;)

By Kate | 20 February 2012 3:53 PM

Would you eat a burger grown in a laboratory? NO – Not Me - Not my cup of tea. Sometimes scientists forget to think about the unforeseen health hazards lab-grown meats might create or the kinds of chemical additives that could be added to the process later on. The bigger question is ‘will it be safe for human consumption’ and what health issues will arise from lab-grown meats. I’ll stay with hydroponic farming research and other sustainable gardening techniques before I ever try this.

By Kate | 20 February 2012 4:13 PM

With all the nice meat there's in the netherlands do they really need to create artificial meat to make hamburgers ????
Honestly I will never eat that artificial meat ....this is getting scary !!!!

By Plasmo | 20 February 2012 6:20 PM

Stem cell hamburger: Stem cells are biological cells that through mitosis divide and differentiate. With such a hamburger we have a number of problems. First genetic, public health and patent problems. The consumption of meat is governed by the experience of the public health organizations in animal husbandry and such. The genetic aspect of a stem cell hamburger is new ground. The legal aspect as if such a hamburger could be patented remains open.

By Terence Hale | 20 February 2012 8:25 PM

Well! Now we are really there, aren't we?? Lab grown people eating lab grown hamburgers! As the Germans say: " Gott sei mit uns"!!!!
"Perficiat, Mesjtreech!!!"

By theo orval | 20 February 2012 11:34 PM

This is absolutely disgusting. Being a meat-eater, I cannot believe saying this but I rather become a vegeterian than having synthetic meat.
This is upsetting. Lame reasoning for inteferring the nature's work. Where will this end and where will this lead to?
How scary!

By tam | 21 February 2012 10:21 AM

I find this research very interesting. Probably a decade away from commercial applications, but non the less very impressive.

Unlike most other commenters here, I would be happy to eat this. The main reason being that it is easier to ensure the health aspects of engineered meet; who knows where the cows have been, or how much Salmonella your chicken filet is infected with?

In addition to this, I find it interesting that from a civilization point of view, we are getting to the point where one of the original civilization bearing inventions known as animal husbandry can be declared obsolete.

I cannot understand that "industrially slaughtered cows" sound more appetizing for people than "industrially grown meat" .

By Mattias | 21 February 2012 1:38 PM

I see no problem. In fact I would love to have a bite of this burger. In twenty, thirty year from now on probably I can proudly say I did get a bite from the very first synthetic meat. Break it down to the molecular size, the technique is nothing more than layering and connecting protein together to form the meat tissue. It's just biological manufacturing at atomic level.

By Eric Nguyen | 21 February 2012 5:08 PM

Is everyone insane? This is a great idea! As for "my human body isnt meant for this" you are eating meat cells, the exact same thing that comes from a cow, and I do here people saying that when their shoving their face full of chips loaded with trans fats. As for " i would rather not eat synthetic meat" its made the exact same way your body makes meat! Ignorance from the facts is why people are against this instead of embracing it. If you have a problem with this and trans fats are okay with you, then you have no grasp of how biological processes work, I have multiple degrees and licenses, this is a great idea!

By Bo | 21 February 2012 7:47 PM

So long as governments do not intend to ever use these science lab meats and other foods for further studies of effects on humans. Many additives included in processed foods today have shown they can lead to accumulation of formaldehyde and no one knows exactly the long-term effects in humans. Imagine if governments took this well intended achievement and added substances to control population or worse. Consequences of a great achievement could also prove to be dangerous regardless of intent. Fortunately, the EU banned Australia’s ‘Transglutaminase’ meat glue products. I’m an educated realist who views situations from different sides whether we are ready for the responsibilities that come with some achievements.

By Kate | 22 February 2012 6:14 PM

From sane and levelheaded. We never know if some Dutch propose to use this home-grown meat for immigration control of Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians, in view of some of the narrow- minded comments from some. Freedom of speech makes others well aware of how different our views still are on many issues especially immigration. Many achievements initially start with good intentions for the advancements of science – Some unfortunately end up like the atomic bomb. The concern is not any different than Europe’s growing anxiety over Iran’s ‘possible’ military use of their nuclear program which they claim is to generate electricity without using oil supplies they prefer to sell abroad and provide fuel for medical reactors.

By Someone | 23 February 2012 3:29 PM

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