FACT CHECK: Was Lab-Grown Chicken Actually Made From Human Cells?

Anna Mock | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims lab-grown chicken approved to be sold at restaurants has been grown from human cells. 

Verdict: False

The claim is false, spokespeople for Good Meat and for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told Check Your Fact in emails that no such product was approved.

Fact Check:

The companies Good Meat and Upside Foods have gained regulatory approval to sell lab-grown chicken, according to Axios. The meat is grown from chicken cells and Good Meat calls it “cultivated chicken,” CBS News reported.

A Facebook post claims this lab-grown meat is made from human cells. The post shares this information in via text over a blue and green background.

“The lab grown ‘chicken’ that was recently approved to be sold at restaurants is actually grown from human cells. Research it,” the post reads.

The claim is baseless, however. Check Your Fact found no credible news reports about lab-grown chicken being made from human cells. 

“This claim is false,” an FDA spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email. “Human food made with cultured animal cells must meet the same stringent requirements, including safety requirements, as all other food under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act requirements and the FDA’s regulations, as applicable.  ”

The spokesperson directed Check Your Fact to the Human Food Made with Cultured Animal Cells Inventory which shows details for the types of chicken cells used in the meat. (RELATED: Viral Post Falsely Claims Lab-Grown Meat Will Not Require A Label)

“The claim is completely false. GOOD Meat does not use human cells in any stage of our process,” a spokesperson for Good Meat told Check Your Fact in an email. The spokesperson added that the cells used are “fed a nutrient-rich broth that includes amino acids, carbohydrates, minerals, fats and vitamins which are the same types of nutrients animals need to grow” and that the process occurs in a safe, USDA-approved food manufacturing facility.

“That claim is false. Our cultivated chicken is grown directly from animal cells, and there are no human cells involved at any stage in our process,” an Upside Foods spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email, including a link to an FDA article about the chicken. 

“Applications are approved following a rigorous process, which includes assessing a firm’s food safety system. Based on this review, FSIS has issued the first three grants of inspection to establishments producing FSIS-regulated products derived from animal cells,” a Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) spokesperson told Check Your Fact in an email. “FSIS has also reviewed and approved the labels for their product to ensure that they are truthful and not misleading.”

Anna Mock

Fact Check Reporter