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Another cultivated meat milestone as Dutch government agrees pre-approval tastings of cultivated meat and seafood in The Netherlands

July 5, 2023

Today it is being announced that cultivated meat and seafood can soon be taste-tested under limited conditions in The Netherlands. The Dutch government, in collaboration with cultivated meat producers Meatable and Mosa Meat and sector representative HollandBIO, successfully created a ‘code of practice’ that would make tastings possible in controlled environments.

This agreement makes the Netherlands the first country in the European Union to make pre-approval tastings of food grown directly from animal cells possible, even before an EU novel food approval. It follows on the heels of the government’s ‘National Growth Fund’ committing €60 million to build a robust cellular agriculture ecosystem to make the Netherlands a global hub for the burgeoning technology. The organization created to implement the National Growth Fund plan, Cellular Agriculture Netherlands, will have responsibility for implementing the code of practice, including hiring a panel of experts to evaluate requests by companies to conduct tastings of cultivated meat and seafood.

The code of practice was created after an intervention by the Dutch House of Representatives in 2022. A motion sponsored by members Tjeerd de Groot (D66) and Peter Valstar (VVD) requested that the government enter into consultations with Dutch cellular agriculture producers  to enable pre-approval tastings under controlled and safe conditions. The motion passed by 14 of 17 voting political parties including VVD, BBB, CDA, D66, Christen Unie, PvdA, GroenLinks, PvdD, SP and more.

“This is great news for the Netherlands," enthused Krijn de Nood, CEO at Meatable. "We know cultivated meat can significantly help reduce climate impact. By enabling the tasting of cultivated meat, The Netherlands maintains its pioneering role in Europe and beyond. For Meatable, this means that we can allow consumers to taste and experience our products, and make our products even better with their feedback. Our goal is to make tasty cultivated meat that is indistinguishable from traditional meat available to everyone, without harming people, animals or our planet. This development brings that goal closer. We thank the ministries for their constructive collaboration and look forward to invite the first people to try our sausages, dumplings, and pulled pork!”

“This is a great achievement for the Dutch government and another proof point that the Netherlands is a global leader in agriculture and food innovation," added Maarten Bosch, CEO of Mosa Meat. "We thank all 127 members of the Tweede Kamer who voted in favor of finding a way to make this possible and Minister Kuipers, Minister Adema and their teams for being professional and collaborative in getting it done. Mosa Meat will use these controlled tastings to gather invaluable feedback on our products and to educate key stakeholders about the role cellular agriculture can play in helping Europe meet our food sovereignty and sustainability goals.”

"I would like to acknowledge the teams at the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, and HollandBio for many hours of constructive and collaborative talks," concluded Ira van Eelen, Board Member, Cellular Agriculture Netherlands. "I am happy that also the Netherlands really is a great place for food systems innovators to thrive!"

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