An Anticipatory Social Assessment of Factory-Grown Meat

TitleAn Anticipatory Social Assessment of Factory-Grown Meat
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsMattick, C, Wetmore, J, Allenby, B
JournalTechnology and Society Magazine, IEEE
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number0278-0097
AbstractOn August 5, 2013, a prototype sample of cultured, or in vitro, meat was tasted at a well-publicized event in London [1]. This hamburger was not grown in an animal, but rather from bovine stem cells in Dr. Mark Post?s laboratory at Maastricht University in the Netherlands. The event may foreshadow a day when traditional livestock production has given way to large-scale growth of meat in factories, or carneries. Dr. Post has suggested that commercialization of cultured meat could be ten to twenty years away. The implications are profound. By some accounts the technology could reduce the environmental impacts of meat production, promote human health by eliminating harmful contents such as saturated fats and pathogens, address global hunger issues , and alleviate the ethical concerns associated with industrial livestock operations . However, technologies powerful enough to address such significant challenges often come with unforseen consequences and a host of costs and benefits that seldom accrue to the same actors. In extreme cases, they can even be destabilizing to social, institutional, economic, and cultural systems.