Technocrats appear keen to preclude the masses from eating real meat in hopes of combatting the specter of climate change and making more money. While there is a significant push under way for people to surrender steaks, burgers, and hot dogs and instead eat bugs and algae, climate alarmists and elites alike are also hyping so-called synthetic "meat."
This alternative may prove too much to swallow for many consumers in light of the present lack of health data about what such laboratory productions might do to consumers, as well as Bloomberg's recent report underscoring how synthetic meat is, in many cases, cancer.
What's the background?
When peddling his book "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" in 2021, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates told the MIT Technology Review that "all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they're going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand."
Although Gates contends that fewer methane emissions from livestock flatulence will help combat climate change, it won't just be the planet that will allegedly benefit. He seeks to turn a significant profit, having invested in various companies that create faux meat and plant-based meat substitutes.
In his discussion of cancerous lab meats, Igor Chudov noted on his Substack that the World Economic Forum has also championed the replacement of real meat.
The WEF ran an article in 2019 — the same year Israeli start-up Aleph Farms claimed to be the first company to produce a steak in a lab — entitled, "You will be eating replacement meats within 20 years. Here's why," which claimed lab meats could be created more efficiently and had "fewer product risks than conventional meat."
Again, in 2020, it ran a piece claiming that lab meat was a "more sustainable solution" that would reverse deforestation and help limit global temperature rises.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said select lab-grown meats were safe for human consumption for the first time in November 2022, two years after Singapore became the first country to permit their sale.
Upside Foods, a California-based and Gates-backed company that makes so-called meat from chicken cells, was subsequently cleared to begin selling its product as soon as the U.S. Department of Agriculture inspected its facilities, reported CNN.
Reuters reported last month that Upside hopes to bring its doctored meat to restaurants as early as this year.
Another California-based lab-meat company, Good Meat, has an application pending with the FDA. The Netherlands-based Mosa Meat and Israel-based Believer Meats reportedly are also in talks with the FDA to bring their vat-grown meat simulacrum to American tables.
In addition to surmounting regulatory hurdles, Reuters noted these companies will also have to lock down the supply chain for the "nutrient mix to feed cells and for the massive bioreactors required to produce large quantities of cultivated meat."
A cancerous knock-off
A recent Bloomberg report noted that for decades, "companies such as Pfizer Inc. and Johnson & Johnson have cultured large volumes of cells to produce vaccines, monoclonal antibodies and other biotherapeutics. Now the idea is that we might as well eat these cells, too."
While lab-grown meat advocates contend their product is, at least on the cellular level, no different from real meat, the report stressed that "normal meat cells don't just keep dividing forever"; normal cells will only divide a few dozen times.
In order to get the cell cultures to multiply at the rates necessary to keep these doctored meat companies afloat, "several companies, including the Big Three, are quietly using what are called immortalized cells. ... Immortalized cells are a staple of medical research, but they are, technically speaking, precancerous and can be, in some cases, fully cancerous."
The first immortal cell line came from Henrietta Lacks, a black tobacco farmer from southern Virginia who had cervical cancer. The cells were taken and used without her knowledge or consent. Smithsonian magazine reported that her cancer cells have been used many times over, including in space for zero-gravity tests, in the polio vaccine, in cloning, in gene mapping, and for in-vitro fertilization.
These so-called immortal cells — modified to divide forever, thereby "defying the normal limits of growth ... mak[ing] them unmistakably more like cancer cells" — are grown in vats called bioreactors, where they ultimately generates tons of "cell mass."
The report indicated that some cancer researchers have downplayed the risk of consuming this cancerous lab meat, noting that "because the cells aren't human, it's essentially impossible for people who eat them to get cancer from them, or for the precancerous or cancerous cells to replicate inside people at all."
Joe Fassler, the author of the report, suggested that the real meat industry may weaponize the doctored meat's cancerous composition in a public-relations war, adding, "It's all too easy to imagine misleading Fox News chyrons about chicken tumors and cancer burgers."
While Fassler prejudged such hypothetical reports as misleading, he conceded that even "the cultured meat industry is anxious about its use of immortalized cells and is doing what it can to avoid the subject. In part, this is because scientists aren't as quick as journalists to use the words 'essentially impossible' in writing."
"Despite the informal scientific consensus around the safety of immortalized cells, there just aren't any long-term health studies to prove it," he wrote.
This may account for why Upside has investors and reporters who taste the company's pseudo-chicken sign a "creepy waiver," which reads, "The cultured meat and related food products in the Tasting are experimental. ... The properties are not completely known."
The hypothetical concerns about "chicken tumors and cancer burgers" may ultimately be discounted by climate alarmists and journalists, but scientists and industry legal teams are evidently reluctant to dismiss them altogether.
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