EC rejects criticism of EUR 2 m grant to artificial meat growers

From the EU Recovery Fund, two million euros have been granted to a Dutch business project researching the process of growing meat in a laboratory. MEPs have criticised the decision, but the European Commission (EC) deems it being in accordance with the goals of the specific programme, Belgian news portal EurActiv reports.
In the Netherlands, the ‘Feed for Meat’ project is developed by the animal nutrition firm Nutreco together with Mosa Meat, the company that produced the world first ever lab-grown burger in 2013. Artificial meat is a product coming from harvesting animal muscle cells that are then placed in a bioreactor and fed with protein to help tissue growth. The aim of the project is to further improve the sustainability of the cellular agriculture value chain and is finance as part of the REACT-EU programme.
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In the European Parliament, the decision has sparked criticism with MEPs from Italy’s right-wing party Lega, which wrote a parliamentary question to the Commission requiring an explanation of the criteria used to finance the project via the REACT-EU programme. «It is unacceptable that Brussels is investing millions of euros of European citizens’ money in meat produced in laboratories,» Italian politicians wrote.
EurActiv quoted an unnamed source in the EC arguing that the management of the cohesion policy programmes is shared between the EU and the member states. The EC was informed by the South Netherlands authority that the Feed for Meat project contributes to the green and digital transition on which REACT-EU focuses in the Netherlands, considering that it provides research and development support in order to enable the scaling up of cultivated beef.