AUSTRALIA – Australia’s Food Frontier, an alternative protein think tank, has announced that Vow, a cultivated meat company, is one step closer to receiving novel foods approval for its lab-grown quail product.

The product has undergone rigorous scientific and safety assessments by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), which has determined that Vow’s cultivated quail is safe for consumption.

The approval process now enters a public consultation phase, allowing consumers to provide feedback on the product and proposed labeling requirements.

Vow’s cultivated quail is derived from cells of the rare Japanese quail, Coturnix japonica, grown without animal-derived additives and antibiotics, providing a sustainable and slaughter-free alternative.

Earlier this year, Vow became the first Australian cultivated meat company to apply for regulatory approval, and if successful, it will pave the way for Australia and New Zealand to lead in the emerging era of food production.

Dr. Simon Eassom, Executive Director of Food Frontier, emphasized the importance of public confidence in introducing novel food categories.

“Public confidence around the introduction of novel food categories is always a vital step in gaining acceptance. The ultimate success of Vow’s application will pave the way for Australia and New Zealand to take a lead in this exciting new era of food production,” he said.

In 2022, Vow raised $49.2 million (U.S$ 32.2 million) to scale production and plans to launch its cultivated quail product in Australia by the end of 2024, pending regulatory approval.

The approval of cultivated meat in the region could attract investments and innovation, fostering economic growth and advancements in protein diversification.

The cultivated meat sector in Australia and New Zealand is projected to be worth AUD$945 billion (U.S$ 619.6 billion) by 2040, contributing to the global growth of the alternative proteins sector, reports Vegconomist.

While global acceptance and consumption of cultivated meat are on the rise, Australia’s potential approval of Vow’s product would make it the third country, following Singapore and the United States, to allow the sale of cultivated meat.

Public submissions on FSANZ’s risk assessment process will be considered before a final verdict is released for public consultation in the coming year.

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