Singapore approves lab-grown 'chicken' meat

Singapore has given regulatory approval for the world’s first “clean meat” that does not come from slaughtered animals.

The decision paves the way for San Francisco-based startup Eat Just to sell lab-grown chicken meat.

The meat will initially be used in nuggets, but the company hasn’t said when they will become available.

Demand for alternatives to regular meat has surged due to consumer concerns about health, animal welfare and the environment.

According to Barclays, the market for meat alternatives could be worth $140bn (£104bn) within the next decade, or about 10% of the $1.4tn global meat industry.

Plant-based meat options such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are increasingly found on supermarket shelves and restaurant menus.

But Eat Just’s product is different because it is not plant based, but instead grown from animal muscle cells in a lab.

The company called it a "breakthrough for the global food industry" and hopes other countries will now follow suit.

Over the last decade, dozens of start-ups have attempted to bring cultured meat to market, hoping to win over conventional meat eaters with the promise of a more ethical product.

Two of the largest are Israel-based Future Meat Technologies and the Bill Gates-backed Memphis Meats, which are both trying to enter the market with affordable and tasty lab grown meats.

Singapore’s Shiok Meats is working on lab grown crustacean meats.

While many have touted the environmental benefits, some scientists have suggested it might be worse for climate change under some circumstances.