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Following yesterday’s article that stated that cell-based meat tastings could potentially be legalised in the Netherlands in weeks, the Dutch Government has announced that it has successfully created a ‘code of practice’ that will make tastings possible in controlled environments.

This historic 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.

Meatable cell-based pork sausages
Meatable's cell-based pork sausages, which the company says it can create in eight days

Krijn de Nood, CEO of Dutch biotech company Meatable, said: “This is great news for the Netherlands. 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.”

He continued: “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!”

Dutch food tech company Mosa Meat’s CEO, Maarten Bosch, added: “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. We thank all 127 members of the Tweede Kamer who voted in favour 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.”

He added: “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”.

Meatable's cell-based pork hot dog
Meatable's cell-based pork hot dog

The announcement follows on the heels of the government’s ‘National Growth Fund’ which in October last year, committed €60 million to build a robust cellular agriculture ecosystem to make the Netherlands a global hub for the burgeoning technology.

The organisation created to execute the ‘National Growth Fund’ plan – Cellular Agriculture Netherlands – holds responsibility for implementing the code of practice, including hiring a panel of experts to evaluate requests by companies to conduct tastings of cell-based meat and seafood.

Meatable co-founders Krijn de Nood and Daan Luining
Meatable co-founders Krijn de Nood and Daan Luining

The code of practice was created after an intervention by the Dutch House of Representatives in 2022. A motion sponsored by Dutch politicians 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.

Dutch government legalises pre-approval tastings of cell-based meat and seafood

Phoebe Fraser

6 July 2023

Dutch government legalises pre-approval tastings of cell-based meat and seafood

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