PETA’s Latest Tactic: $1 Million for Fake Meat
By JOHN SCHWARTZ
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants to pay a million dollars for fake meat — even if it has caused a “near civil war” within the organization.
The organization said it would announce plans on Monday for a $1 million prize to the “first person to come up with a method to produce commercially viable quantities of in vitro meat at competitive prices by 2012.”
The idea of getting the next Chicken McNugget out of a test tube is not new. 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. Read More
The Frankenmeat contest that PETA is sponsoring was inspired by the symposium of scientists that gathered last week to share their progress in producing test tube meat. While I haven’t heard or seen any surveys on this, the consumer’s acceptance of other engineered foods has been shaky at times. This has also created quite a stir within PETA, because a faction of their group believes no one should eat meat regardless of whether it came from an animal or not.