The U.S. government is approving lab-grown meat sales to the public for the first time.
"Cultivated" meat producers UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat received approval from the Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Wednesday to begin commercially selling their chicken products.
"THE DAY HAS FINALLY ARRIVED!" UPSIDE Foods wrote Wednesday on social media. "We are APPROVED TO SELL our cell-cultivated chicken in the US!"
The company continued, "This historic, world-changing, moment brings our vision one giant bite closer to reality."
The final approval comes after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a "no questions" response to GOOD Meat in March of this year, marking the company's lab-grown chicken product safe to eat. Upside Foods received a similar approval in November 2022.
Lab-grown meat producers say the practice of creating consumable meat products through cell cultivation technology eliminates harm to animals and combats environmental impact.
"Instead of all of that land and all of that water that's used to feed all of these animals that are slaughtered, we can do it in a different way," Eat Just co-founder and chief executive Josh Tetrick said. Eat Just owns and operates GOOD Meat.
Lab-grown meat is created using cells from living animals, such as a fertilized egg, which is incubated and grown into large masses of meat. The product is then cut and restructured into facsimiles of regular, butchered meat products.
"GOOD Meat is real meat, made without tearing down a forest or taking a life. We’re the first and only company in the world to sell cultivated meat made from cells instead of slaughtered animals," the company boasts on its website.
The companies do not plan on distributing their products to retail locations just yet.
Production costs of the lab-grown meat are far higher than normal butchering, making mass-market sales difficult.
Instead, the products will be rolled out by both companies at partnered restaurants.