Fake Meat Has a Real Problem
The fake meat industry, predicted to be worth $3 trillion, is being touted as an environmentally friendly and sustainable way to feed the world. In reality, however, the rise of fake meat and other animal foods is nothing more than an attempt to create global control over yet another food sector.
Globalists already have a monopoly on the grain industry with their patented GMO seeds, and once animal husbandry is eliminated and replaced with patented lab-grown meats, private companies will effectively control the food supply in its entirety. And, as so famously stated by Henry Kissinger, those who control the food control the people.
On top of that, lab-created meats may also turn out to be one of the most health-harming ultraprocessed foods ever created. Of course, the true impact on public health won’t be seen for years or decades, but the preliminary evidence raises serious questions.
Will Lab-Grown Meat Cause Cancer?
Most cultured or cell-based meats are created by growing animal cells in a solution of fetal bovine serum (FBS). Aside from the fact that this “green” alternative requires the slaughter of pregnant cows in order to drain the unborn fetus of its blood, to get the cell cultures to grow fast enough, several companies are using immortalized cells.
As reported by The Fern,1 “Immortalized cells are a staple of medical research, but they are, technically speaking, precancerous and can be, in some cases, fully cancerous.”
There’s no cause for concern, though, The Fern claims, because according to “prominent cancer researchers” such as MIT biologist Robert Weinberg, Ph.D., it’s “essentially impossible” for humans to get cancer when eating these cells because they’re not human cells and therefore cannot replicate inside your body.
The problem, of course, is that there’s no long-term research to really back such claims. The fact that “cow tumors sometimes wind up in store-bought ground chuck”2 and doesn’t cause a problem does not mean that a piece of meat consisting of nothing but cancerous and precancerous cells won’t have unpredictable effects.
The notion of “cancer burgers” is a PR nightmare that most cultured meat companies want to steer clear of, and they do so primarily by ignoring or dismissing the issue. As noted by The Fern:3
“Even if your nouveau meat doesn’t cause cancer and isn’t exactly made from cancer, having to say so repeatedly will inevitably turn off a great many potential customers. As one executive in the field told me, with a dose of comic understatement, there’s a chance the whole thing really ‘might bother some people’ …
[I]nterviews with dozens of current and former employees, executives, investors, analysts and other insiders, as well as reviews of the companies’ regulatory filings and past statements, make clear that the cultured meat industry is anxious about its use of immortalized cells and is doing what it can to avoid the subject.
In part, this is because scientists aren’t as quick as journalists to use the words ‘essentially impossible’ in writing. Despite the informal scientific consensus around the safety of immortalized cells, there just aren’t any long-term health studies to prove it …
The leading startups, for their part, are pressing ahead, nodding to their potential vulnerability with the occasional creepy waiver.
At Upside’s facility in Emeryville, California … investors and pesky reporters tasting a cooked version of the final product have been asked to first acknowledge the lack of long-term health data. ‘The cultured meat and related food products in the Tasting are experimental,’ the company’s waiver reads. ‘The properties are not completely known.’”
Why Are Cancerous Cells Used?
The reason precancerous and cancerous immortalized cells are used in the first place is because normally-behaving cells cannot divide forever. Most cells will only multiply a few dozen times before they become senescent (old) and die. This won’t work when your intention is to grow thousands of pounds of tissue from a small number of cells, hence they use immortalized cells that continue to divide indefinitely.
Some immortalized cell lines have been in continuous use since the early 1950s. The first immortalized cell line came from a woman with cervical cancer. Her cancer cells successfully replicated in a petri dish, ultimately becoming the cell line known as “HeLa,” short for the woman’s name, Henrietta Lacks.4
In medical science, the use of immortalized cell lines allows researchers to perform in vitro studies without the use of fresh cell samples. In the culturing of meat, it’s what allows them to create a large volume of tissue from a small number of cells that never need to be replenished.
But immortalized cells are also, by definition, cancerous (or at bare minimum precancerous), as there’s no off switch for their replication. To circumvent this PR problem, some companies are using embryonic stem cells rather than immortalized cells. Others are using cells from living animals.5 Both of these strategies, however, also destroy the argument that cultured meat is animal-free.
Can You Trust Regulatory Approval?
The fact that our regulatory agencies are captured by industry and no longer seem to be taking public health into consideration only adds to the uncertainty, yet getting government approval is the industry’s primary strategy to win public trust. As reported by The Fern:6
“How can the makers of cultured meat prove to regulators and skeptics that there’s nothing to worry about? ‘The best way is to give it to people and then ask them 20 years later or 30 years later, ‘Has any of you gotten cancer at a higher-than-normal rate?” says Weinberg. ‘But that’s not a practical experiment.’
The likeliest path for companies to set more people at ease is to win government approvals and put their products on plates. In November the FDA sent Upside Foods a ‘no questions’ letter in response to its application for approval, clearing the way for its chicken’s final approval by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The FDA’s safety assessment shows that its evaluation criteria included the chicken’s potential for contamination and adulteration. It also notes that Upside monitors its immortalized cells to make sure they don’t become cancerous or otherwise wig out.
In a footnote, the agency concluded that even fully cancerous cells would be safe to eat because they stop growing after they leave the bio-reactor, and cooking and digestion will break them down harmlessly.
‘We did not identify any properties of the cells as described that would render them different from other animal cells with respect to safety for food use,’ the FDA said. Even with the Upside approval, though, the uncomfortable truth is that none of the companies has data to prove their safety beyond every last doubt.”
Bizarre Mixing of Animal and Plant Kingdom
Food scientists are also pushing the boundaries even further into the unknown by creating hybrid foods where animal and plant cells have been combined. Case in point: The Czech startup Mewery, founded in 2020, is working on a lab-grown pork alternative that is made up of 75% pork cells and 25% microalgae cells.7
Here, the microalgae is being used in lieu of FBS as the growth medium for a porcine cell line. FBS is notoriously ex
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