Israelis want to bring artificial meat to the British and Swiss markets

An Israeli food company has applied for permission in Britain and Switzerland to market cultured meat.

With this, both countries, which are not EU members, can become the first European country where cultured meat appears on store shelves. The Swiss approval procedure takes about a year, the British one and a half years. 

In the European Union, cultured meat is seen as a new food, which means that the European Food Authority will also extensively test and check the end product before it is allowed on the market. The time frame of the EU application process is estimated to be a minimum of 18 months.

Cultured meat is 'meat' for which no animals have been slaughtered, but which has been grown in a laboratory. In addition to saving animal lives, this also produces climate benefits. The global meat industry has a major environmental and climate impact. In the Netherlands alone, it causes about 3.9 million tons of CO2 emissions per year.

There are major differences between the European member states regarding the permitting of cultured meat. While the Netherlands has already given permission for tastings with the public, Italy wants cultured meat completely verieden. This kind of mixed reaction in the EU countries may scare off investing companies, causing them to look elsewhere.

Delft-based Meatable sees markets for its cultured meat mainly in Singapore and the United States. In Singapore, cultured meat has been allowed for several years. Recently, the US also gave the green light for the sale. The Dutch company is also looking at Israel, where cultured meat is now being allowed.