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In June, the US government approved the sale of lab-grown meat, allowing two companies to put ‘cultivated’ chicken on the market. It makes the US just the second country to allow the sale of such products – Singapore being the first.

So, how big a deal is the news? That’s the question poised by the latest episode of the Food Matters Live Podcast. Titled ‘Cultivated meat: World watches after American approval’, it’s satisfyingly free of pearl-clutching over ‘frankenmeat’. Instead, there’s talk of cellular science, food policy and sustainability – all presented to host Stefan Gates by three thoughtful guests.

Stefano Lattanzi is the CEO of a cultured meat company in Italy – where growing animals in labs is banned. For him, the US decision is a “huge advance” and could drive “a great advantage for mankind”.

Mathilde Alexandre of the NGO ProVeg International is also enthused, pointing to the opportunity to dramatically cut the carbon emissions of meat farming. Though she concedes convincing people to eat lab-grown flesh will take work.

But Ricardo San Martin, co-founder of Alt:Meat Lab at University of California, isn’t terribly convinced. “When you run the numbers, you can’t make this economical,” he warns, adding that “the hurdle is nature”.

It’s very expensive to fiddle with cells that are “prone to infections” and don’t like being crammed together during the high-tech fermentation process, San Martin explains.

All of which amounts to 40 minutes of chat as juicy as the tenderest chicken breast.