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PETA's $1 million prize for "in vitro" meat

Chicken_2Chicken McNuggets from a test tube? The New York Times reports that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay $1 million for "fake meat."

For several years, scientists have worked to develop technologies to grow tissue cultures that could be consumed like meat without the expense of land or feed and the disease potential of real meat. An international symposium on the topic was held this month in Norway. The tissue, once grown, could be shaped and given texture with the kinds of additives and structural agents that are now used to give products like soy burgers a more meaty texture.

But the offer has been wildly controversial at PETA offices. Ingrid Newkirk, one of the organization's founders, said the decision to pay for a prize caused "a near civil war in our office." Many PETA members, the New York Times reported, "are repulsed by the thought of eating animal tissue, even if no animals are killed."

An announcement on the PETA website states:

"In vitro meat production would use animal stem cells that would be placed in a medium to grow and reproduce. The result would mimic flesh and could be cooked and eaten. Some promising steps have been made toward this technology, but we're still several years away from having in vitro meat be available to the general public.... "

PETA is offering a $1 million prize to the contest participant able to make the first in vitro chicken meat and sell it to the public by June 30, 2012.

The contestant must do both of the following:

• Produce an in vitro chicken-meat product that has a taste and texture indistinguishable from real chicken flesh to nonmeat-eaters and meat-eaters alike.

• Manufacture the approved product in large enough quantities to be sold commercially, and successfully sell it at a competitive price in at least 10 states.

Judging of taste and texture will be performed by a panel of 10 PETA judges, who will sample the product using a fried "chicken" recipe from VegCooking.com. The in vitro chicken must get a score of at least 80 when evaluated in order to win the prize.

-- Alice Short

Photo: Associated Press

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I am glad to hear that PETA is finally endorsing the consumption of meat and meat products!

This is a real step forward. I did not think they could ever actually come out and say that they liked to consume once living flesh.

Now we know that the problem is only one of degrees.
So I suppose it would be ok to consume meat from genetically modified animals that had no nervous systems. Laboratory meatbag foetuses.

OK well that might be difficult to arrange, how about genetically modifying the animals to have only partial nervous systems, enough to stand and graze, just enough to remain alive in a safe factory farm environment? I mean what's the difference really.
Right PETA?

Or you could just eat chicken and get over it.

All the meat with none of the torture, disease or guitl.
Sounds yummy!

ok maybe this is a stupid question but if the judges are all from PETA how are they gonna satisfy the requirement that it taste like chicken to meat-eaters? 0.0

Decades ago I realized that this was a problem that could be solved relatively easily. But no one even saw a problem! I went on and on explaining it to anyone willing to listen, but all I got was: "What? So what? Why? To fix What? What problem? Is there a Problem? There you go again fixing a problem that does not exist, in a way that makes no sense to us, even if we cared enough to pay attention or even listen to what you are saying."
I am glad that finally some one else on this planet has at least recognized the presence of the problem.

Who wants fake meat loaded with chemicals and crap? I don't want any meat, let alone fake meat I don't care how scientifically perfect it is. This is ridiculous! I've heard that PETA is in it for the $$ more than anything else. Disgusting! Raw organic all natural food is what our bodies require...

As a registered nurse, humanitarian, and environmentalist I am strongly in favor of in-vitro meat.
A 400-page November 2006 UN report entitled "Livestock's Long Shadow" stated that animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, buses, planes, and all forms of transportation combined. The best way to help the environment is to switch to a plant-based diet. Since the whole world is not likely to do this overnight, I see in-vitro meat as a compromise. In-vitro meat has the potential to eliminate the heinous factory farming system, in which 10 billions animals suffer and die every year. It is a less unhealthy product than that obtained from sick, stressed-out, medicated animals, who receive 70% of all the antibiotics produced in this country, not to mention steroids and hormones). Additionally, since there is no excrement or methane emission, it is not insulting to the environment.
Naturally, as a staunch vegan, I'd prefer it if the whole world went vegan overnight.
Realistically, in-vitro meat provides a win-win situation for environmentally conscious herbivores and carnivores alike.

In-vitro chicken?
Can't use human stems cells to make babies or cure cancer, but we can use chicken stem cells to make McStemcell burgers? 'Mmmm... fresh from the lab.
This is disgusting! PETA worrying about the rights of chickens when half the world's people don't even enjoy basic human rights - trust me, I live in South Africa.
Grow up PETA. Creatures (animals, plants whatever) die so that other creatures (animals, plants whatever) can live. Slip in your Lion King DVD and brush up on your 'circle of life'!

With the track record these animals have,there should be some heavy restrictions on owning one.For example theowner has to have an insurance policy on the dog in the event it attacks.They should also be "fixed". My thoughts on the people who own these animals try to show a Macho mentality.I live in one of the safest citys in so. calif. the other day while going for my usual walk,coming toward me was a young man with a large PB on a leash,as they approached the dog made a charge at me,lucky for me the man held on. No, there to many great breeds to select from instead of have one of these.AND I DONT WANT TO HEAR THAT ITS NOT THE DOG BUT THE OWNERS.YOU TELL THAT TO ONE OF THE VICTIMS.

Pretty much everything "tastes like chicken" anyways. This is too easy. If PETA was really up for a challenge, they'd up the $1 million for the person who can come up with test-tube steak!

Great PeTA-idea. For more backgroud-information, technology, ethics and success-criteria on „in-vitro-meat“ (others call it „cultured meat“) visit http://www.futurefood.org . There are still many obstacles to overcome. On this website other alternatives to animal meat are presented, too.

This idea has been in my head for a while but I didn't know it was a possible thing yet!! This is really exciting! This could be the end of the animal suffering at factory farms!! I'm so glad that PETA is giving researchers this incentive. And I can't understand why so many vegans/vegetarians are opposing this. I get it if you think its gross but if your for animal rights/welfare, you should be 100% for this.


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