PETA to offer $1 mn for test tube meat

April 21st, 2008 - 11:09 pm ICT by admin  


New York, April 21 (IANS) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is to announce a million-dollar prize for a method 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 Newkirk, 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 organization 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, adding, “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”.

PETA, the world’s largest animal rights organization known for its campaigns centred on celebs, planned another headturning event Monday in New York.

Its website says, “Nude PETA beauties to shower in Times Square to expose meat’s devastating impact on the planet.” Chloe Joe Berman and Ashley Lou Smith will be naked behind a banner that reads, “Clean Your Conscience: Go Vegetarian.” They will bathe in the specially set up shower to highlight the fact that producing just one pound of meat requires water equivalent to more than a year’s worth of showers.

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