PETA to offer $1 million for test tube meat

April 22nd, 2008 - 12:38 pm ICT by admin  

New York, April 22 (IANS) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will announce a $1 million prize for methods to grow commercially viable test tube meat by 2012, The New York Times reported. PETA wants to spur research 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.

But within PETA, one of it founders Ingrid Newkir said the decision to announce the award caused near civil war since so many PETA members are repulsed by the thought of eating animal tissue, even if no animals are killed.

But she told the Times that she had been hoping to get the organisation involved in advancing in vitro meat technology for at least a decade.

“We don’t mind taking uncomfortable positions if it means that fewer animals suffer,” she said. “In vitro meat is a godsend.”

For some already working in the field, the news was greeted with a wary welcome.

Henk P. Haagsman, a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and an in vitro meat research pioneer, said he welcomed the prize competition.

“It will hopefully spark more interest to invest in the technology,” Professor Haagsman said.

But he said he would not like to see the field dominated by the animal welfare issue, since environmental and public health issues are such important “drivers for this research.”

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