The Japanese Ministry of Health has started to look into the regulation of cultured meat

Japan is taking steps to regulate the cultured meat industry.

According to Japan News, the country’s Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has set up a team of researchers to investigate the safety of cultured meat, which is grown from animal cells in laboratories.

The team will help advise the Department of Health on the health risks associated with cultured meat and what regulations will be needed for the industry. After completing their research, they will publish a report, which the ministry will discuss alongside regulations on cultured meat in other countries.

In 2020, Singapore became the first country in the world to give cultured meat regulatory approval. As a result of this decision, the Californian brand Eat Just was able to sell its cultured chicken meat in the country.

Although no other country has granted approval yet, governments support the cultured meat market. The Netherlands, for example, passed a law legalizing the harvesting of cultured meat and allocated €60 million in public funding to the sector. In France, the government supported the Gourmey cultured foie gras brand.

In October last year, Israeli President Isaaz Herzog announced that the government was “officially” embracing alternative proteins, after sampling cultured meat products from Jerusalem-based company Future Meat.

Meat grown in Japan

In Japan, companies are already trying to bring cultured meat to Japanese consumers. Last year, cultured meat company Aleph Farms partnered with Mitsubishi Corporation’s food industry group to work on scaling up lab-grown proteins.

At the time, Aleph Farms CEO Didier Toubia said the partnership demonstrated “Aleph’s strategy of working with the food and meat industries to ensure the successful integration of cultured meat in the ecosystem – while maximizing the positive impact we have”.

He added, “We are excited to bring cultured meat production closer to the Japanese market.”

Maria J. Book