You know that cellular agriculture and synthetic biology is fast en route towards disrupting our conventional food and ag systems when the White House starts to sit up and take notice. Capitol Hill recently commissioned the American National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to produce a report Preparing for Future Products of Biotechnology to identify the impact of and products likely to be produced using biotechnology in the next 10 years. Clean meat and cellular agriculture products (wine, meat, dairy, microbiomes et al) were flagged as areas of high growth potential. Surprise Surprise!!
The report even went so far as to recommend regulatory agencies develop “single point of entry” to streamline the regulatory approval process for the imminent entree of synbio products onto the market. And an entire section titled: Opportunities to Enhance the Capabilities of the Biotechnology Regulatory System - was dedicated towards the topic.
Why is this important? To date, the issue around how to regulate cellular ag, clean meat and synbio-led food production - especially lab grown animal cells - has as been a precarious and uncertain topic for investors, entrepreneurs and investors alike. Meat production regulation assumes animal slaughter - so no slaughter houses make the USDA's (and most of the world's) standards for regulating meat production essentially defunct and useless for the much needed renegades trying to decouple the animal and the slaughter for food/ protein production. Tackling the regulation of synbio produced food at a federal level provides a clear signal to (i.e more stable climate) those entrepreneurs and investors who are paving the way forwards towards a safer, more ethical and sustainable global food production system.
A concerning thought if you’re in pastoral farming. Especially ag-export dependant nations like New Zealand. Food 1.0's time might just come faster than expected. But a massive milestone for mankind as we strive to pave the way forward for developing sustainable and ethical systems to cater for an increasingly flawed and vulnerable food system ill catered to meet our current and future food needs. Vive Synbio!!!