Would You Eat Meat Grown in a Lab?

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Scientists in South Carolina are trying to cook up some new meat for your kitchen table.

The meat would be produced in laboratories instead of taken from animals. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA is funding the meat-engineering project.

Scientists at the Medical University of South Carolina have toiled for the last decade, using bioengineering to create a type of cultured meat.

Researchers begin the process by putting cells together to create tissue.

"Skeletal muscle fibers -- we put them together. They fuse and create skeletal muscle fibers and this is the main element of any meat," said Dr. Vladimir Mironov, developmental biologist and tissue engineer.

There is still work to be done before this type of meat can be found in your local grocery store.

It's also too soon to tell if this is just a PETA pipe dream.

Mironov and his team say it will have huge benefits over factory farms.

"Consumption of conventionally produced meat is the leading cause of food poisoning. Cultured meat produced in septic conditions would not have had access to those pathogens to become contaminated," explained Dr. Nick Genovese, a visiting scholar in cancer cell biology.

The MUSC scientists point at illnesses that can be spread in regular meat such as chicken flu and cow disease. They say the fat in cultured meat could be adjusted for taste and better health.

Once the meat is ready for public consumption, it will no longer be produced in labs but in larger facilities called carneries.

However, it's still going to require years of research and lots of money as well as approval from the federal government before the meat could come to a store near you.

"If I got $10 million, the answer may be in five or 10 years," Mironov said.

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CBN News
Efrem Graham

Efrem Graham

News Anchor & Reporter

Efrem Graham is an award-winning journalist, who comes to CBN News from the ABC owned and operated station in Toledo, Ohio.  He received his master's degree from the Columbia University Journalism School. He also holds a bachelor's degree in English Literature from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.  Follow Efrem on Twitter @EfremGraham and "like" him at Facebook.com/EfremGrahamCBN.