The Law of Future Foods: Exploring Regulatory Implications of Cellular Agriculture

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

Abstract

Decades of industrialised animal farming have significantly contributed to anthropogenic climate change. Livestock-based meat production limits the use of scarce natural resources like water and land, while also releasing large amounts of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The amount of animal protein required to feed a global population that is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050 is likely to double, compounding the severity of implications for the sustainable use of available resources.
While emerging biotechnologies are currently being developed to mitigate the negative effects of livestock-based meat consumption, the lack of a responsive regulatory framework has the potential to stifle innovation, just as uncertainties about likely technical and social outcomes inhibit informed decision-making. Arguably, effective stewardship of cell-cultivation technology products requires broad political and social assessment and engagement.
This paper will engage in ongoing discussions that attempt to legally conceptualise cell-cultivated meat by exploring divergent jurisdictional approaches to novel food regulation. Building on previous sociological theories of cultured meat about ‘promissory narratives’ and applying incipient theories of regulatory agility, this paper will examine recent regulatory developments in Singapore -as a case study of the first jurisdiction in the world to approve the manufacturing, sale and consumption of cell-cultivated meat. It ultimately questions the impact of smart legal design in responding to the demands of cell-cultivated meat ecosystems that take account of continuous shifting in consumer preferences and the resulting global market fluctuations.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Publication statusIn preparation - 1 Jan 2023

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