Stem cells used to produce pork in a lab
January 15, 2010
by Bryan Salvage
LONDON — Dutch scientists have grown pork in a lab using stem cells from pig muscles, according to The Associated Press. To date, the scientists have only been able to grow meat strips a half-inch long, but one researcher estimates creating a small pork chop would take about 30 days in the lab.
Researcher Mark Post says the primary challenge is producing pork with the same protein content as regular meat. A lack of protein gives the petri pork a softer, flimsier consistency more like scallops.
Nevertheless, Mr. Post said the development could eventually offer an alternative to raising livestock and help ease hunger around the world.
Their findings could also help develop healthier foods, said one American researcher not involved in the Dutch study. Healthy omega 3 fatty acids from fish stem cells could be mixed in to produce meat without the usual artery-clogging fats that come from livestock, the researcher said.
On the other hand, some experts warn that lab-produced meat could pose health dangers.
The researchers have not eaten the lab-made pork yet.