Meat from a lab? Startups cook up alternative to slaughter

EMERYVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A growing number of startups worldwide are making meat that doesn’t require slaughtering animals.

Cell-based or cultured meat is produced by extracting cells from an animal and feeding the cells in a nutrient broth until they grow into raw meat.

The young companies want to offer an alternative to traditional meat production that they say is damaging the environment and causing unnecessary harm to animals.

A report released in June by consulting firm A.T. Kearney predicts that by 2040, cell-based meat will make up 35 percent of meat consumed worldwide. It says plant-based alternatives will compose 25 percent.

But cultured meat startups must overcome significant challenges, including bringing down the exorbitant cost of production, showing regulators their products are safe and enticing consumers to take a bite.

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