Cultured Meat Could Suffer The Same Fate as GMOs, New Research Suggests

New research offers a warning to companies looking to sell cultured meat. This new type of protein — meat engineered from cell tissue in a lab rather than using traditional animal agriculture — could end up suffering the same fate as GMOs if producers and proponents aren’t able to shift the public narrative.

In a study published July 3 in the journal Frontiers in Nutrition, researchers found that consumers presented with images of cultured meat framed as high tech innovation felt more negatively about it than consumers who were presented with images and text highlighting the meat’s societal benefits or its equivalent taste and nutrition.

Researchers separated the 480 consumers surveyed into three groups, presenting cultured meat to each group through a slightly different lens. The three different frames were “high-tech,” which showed the meat in a lab spilling out of a petri dish, “societal benefits,” which showed cows in a field with a sentence about helping animals and reducing environmental harms, and “same meat,” which showed a meatball sizzling in a pan with text highlighting equivalent taste and nutrition.

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