A new report suggests that the UK should be investing more in lab-grown meat as “meat demands on land are too intensive”.
The report conducted by think tank the Adam Smith Institute suggests that lab-grown meat could help solve the housing crisis, re-wild the country and help fight climate change. It says according to research adopting lab-grown meat would cut greenhouse emissions by 78-96% and use 99% less land.
Implications for the fight against climate change could be immense, the report argues, with some 14.5% of human caused greenhouse gases and 60% of biodiversity loss attributed to current intensive farming practices.
The report said demand for meat and milk is expected to increase globally 70% by the year 2050 lab grown meat generated by cleaner energy could allow more people to access high quality meat at a sustainably lower environmental cost.
The report alludes to the fact that the price of lab-grown meat has been falling. Just five years ago the cost of a burger made with meat grown in a lab stood at £215,000, but now but now it would cost just £8.
Report authors Dr Madsen Pirie and Jamie Hollywood argue that the country needs to recognize new technological developments like cultured meat “are in the process of radically transforming the world economy”. They suggest that government should learn from financial services “sandbox” regulations to encourage experimenting businesses to locate, develop and lead the world from the UK.
Pirie, president of the Adam Smith Institute, said: “The UK should recognize that cultured meats are a game-changer. For 12,000 years humans have reared animals for meat. In future they will not need to. This will release millions of acres of pasture land for other uses. It will resolve all of the ethical issues involved in the rearing and slaughter of animals. It will give the world access to a low cost, high protein diet, and the UK could become a world leader in this multi-billion-pound new industry.”
Jamie Hollywood, co-author of the report, added: “The policy direction of the government should be to encourage emerging technologies; technologies which seek to provide mass benefit to society. This should be done by removing barriers to their development and introduction. Many innovations which have been impeded by inefficient and short-sighted legislation and state procedure could alleviate problems such as starvation, malnourishment, and climate change.”