Monday, April 28, 2008

Chicken - from test tube to table

ANIMAL rights group PETA is putting up a $US1 million ($1.06m) reward for anyone who can grow test-tube meat that looks and tastes like the real thing.

"In-vitro meat production would use animal stem cells that would be placed in a medium to grow and reproduce. The result would mimic flesh and could be cooked and eaten,'' PETA ( People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) said.

The reward would go to the participant who got a test-tube chicken into commercial production by 2012 and sold it in at least 10 US states at a competitive price.

A team of 10 PETA jurors would taste the entries to make sure they matched the texture and flavour of chicken, and they must score at least 80 out of 100 points to win the prize.

"More than 40 billion chickens, fish, pigs, and cows are killed every year for food in the United States in horrific ways,'' PETA said.

"In-vitro meat would spare animals from this suffering. In addition, in vitro meat would dramatically reduce the devastating effects the meat industry has on the environment.''

While humans didn't need meat,  because many people refused to "kick their meat addictions", PETA was willing to help them gain access to flesh that did not cause suffering and death, it said.

Researchers around the world are working on producing meat in a laboratory but it will be several years yet before in-vitro meat makes it onto the dinner table.


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