NETHERLANDS – The Dutch government has joined forces with the cultivated meat industry to forge a pioneering path towards taste tests for cell-cultured meat and seafood product in a groundbreaking move that propels the future of food innovation.

Through a historic partnership, the Netherlands has become the first country in the European Union (EU) to enable preapproval tastings of food grown from animal cells, even before obtaining EU novel food approval.

This progressive step, undertaken as part of the National Growth Fund initiative, showcases the nation’s commitment to cultivating a robust cellular agriculture ecosystem and establishing itself as a global hub for this transformative technology.

The Dutch government’s collaboration with cultivated meat producers Meatable and Mosa Meat, alongside sector representative HollandBIO, has led to the development of a comprehensive code of practice.

This code sets the framework for conducting taste tests of cell-cultured meat and seafood products prior to market approval.

By working hand in hand with industry pioneers, the Dutch government demonstrates its commitment to fostering innovation and embracing the potential of cultivated meat.

Historic milestone for the EU

The Netherlands’ endeavor marks a significant milestone within the EU, as it becomes the first country to pioneer preapproval tastings for cell-cultured food products.

This historic agreement offers a promising pathway for the cultivated meat industry and highlights the Dutch government’s forward-thinking approach to regulating emerging technologies.

The initiative is part of the broader National Growth Fund, which has dedicated €60 million (U.S$ 66 million) to bolster the country’s cellular agriculture ecosystem and position the Netherlands as a global leader in this burgeoning field.

Implementing the code of practice

The responsibility for implementing the newly created code of practice lies with Cellular Agriculture Netherlands, the organization established to execute the National Growth Fund plan.

Under this framework, Cellular Agriculture Netherlands will oversee the facilitation of taste tests for cultivated meat and seafood, including the establishment of an expert panel responsible for evaluating requests from companies seeking to conduct such tastings.

This panel of experts will ensure that the tastings take place in controlled and safe environments, aligning with the motion passed by the Dutch House of Representatives in 2022.

The Dutch House of Representatives played a crucial role in driving this historic initiative. A motion was passed with support from 14 of the 17 voting political parties, mandating the government to engage in consultations with Dutch cellular agriculture producers to enable preapproval tastings under controlled and safe conditions.

This legislative intervention reflects the consensus among policymakers, industry leaders, and the public, highlighting the collective understanding of the potential benefits and importance of embracing cellular agriculture.

Pioneering a new era of food

The partnership between the Dutch government and the cultivated meat industry marks a pivotal moment in the advancement of sustainable and innovative food production.

By enabling preapproval tastings, the Netherlands is accelerating the development of cell-cultured meat and seafood, paving the way for a future where ethical and environmentally friendly food choices are readily available.

This momentous collaboration sets a precedent for other nations to explore the potential of cultivated meat and reinforces the Netherlands’ position at the forefront of the cellular agriculture revolution.

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