An Israeli company that specializes in 3D-printed lab-grown meat with non-GMO animal cells is currently building the world’s largest commercial-scale production facility in North Carolina.
Believer Meat, formerly known as Future Meat Technologies, is building its facility with an initial planned investment of $123.35 million located in Wilson County, North Carolina, which covers a site of 200,000-square-foot.
“BELIEVER Meats, a leading pioneer of the cultivated meat industry, officially broke ground today on its first U.S. commercial facility in Wilson, North Carolina,” the company said in a statement Wednesday.
“Once operational, the 200,000-square-foot facility will be the largest cultivated meat production center in the world with the capacity to produce at least 10,000 metric tons of cultivated meat, without the need to slaughter a single animal. This is a watershed moment for the cultivated meat industry that will allow BELIEVER Meats to meet growing demand for decades to come.”
“We’re pleased to welcome Believer Meats to North Carolina,” said Governor Roy Cooper (D-NC).
The facility’s groundbreaking is the latest in a series of developments as the company prepares to introduce its products to consumers, including its rebranding from Future Meat Technologies to BELIEVER Meats, its R&D breakthrough with cultivating lamb, and the creation of a global executive team.
According to its press release in November, the company was the first to “immortalize animal cells without genetic modification.”
“The company opened the world’s first cultivated meat production line in Israel in 2021, becoming the first company to immortalize animal cells without any genetic modification and has pioneered a culture medium recycling technology that can reduce production costs and waste. Believer is establishing cultivated meat as the new standard around the world—leading a bold change in how meat is produced in our global food system,” it stated.
“Our name change speaks to our confidence in our mission to make it possible for all future generations to eat meat. Our team has created a revolutionary technology that blazed ahead of the field in terms of cost, safety and product experience,” said Prof. Yaakov Nahmias, President, Founder and Chief Science Officer of Believer.
“As the demand for meat continues to grow in coming decades, the current conventional meat industry won’t be able to meet the supply needed,” he continued.
In an interview with Interesting Engineering, Nahmias explained what non-GMO production is.
“Believer utilizes fibroblasts instead of traditional stem cells. Fibroblasts are robust connective tissue cells that grow efficiently, even in complex environments. They undergo a process termed spontaneous immortalization in which cells rearrange their chromosomes and start growing indefinitely without genetic intervention. Thus, Believer’s cell stock for chicken, lamb, beef, and pork is non-GMO.”
The Gateway Pundit reported that the US Food and Drug Administration on November approved lab-grown meat, a product grown from animal cells, for human consumption for the first time.
The FDA announced that laboratory-grown chicken developed by Upside Food, is “safe to eat,” clearing the way for the California-based company that creates cell-cultured chickens to begin selling its products.
To manufacture its meat, Upside Foods harvests cells from live animals, chicken tissue, and uses the cells to grow meat in stainless-steel tanks known as bioreactors.
The agency issued a statement announcing it evaluated Upside Food’s production and cultured cell material and has “no further questions” about the safety of its cultivated chicken filet.
“The world is experiencing a food revolution,” stated FDA Commissioner Robert M. Califf. “Advancements in cell culture technology are enabling food developers to use animal cells obtained from livestock poultry, and seafood in the production of food with these products expected to be ready for the US market in the near future.”
“The FDA’s goal is to support innovation in food technologies while always maintaining as our first priority the safety of the foods available to US consumers,” he added.