PETA recently offered a $1 million reward
to the first company that can produce In Vitro
meat in commercially viable quantities by 2012. (AussieBruce posted about it in the forum
But Daniel Engber, writing for Slate.com
, explains why PETA's prize has so many strings attached that it's basically a bogus offer.
1) According to the contest guidelines, the fake-meat must be sold in stores to qualify for the prize. Engber writes: "Fake-chicken entrepreneurs have to demonstrate a "commercial sales minimum" at a "comparable market price"; in plain English, they need to move 2,000 pounds of the stuff at supermarkets and chain restaurants spread out across 10 states during a period of three months. And the Franken-meat can't cost more than regular chicken."
2) This is an impossible condition to meet, since the FDA would have to approve the fake-meat before it could be sold in stores. And there's no way a product like this could be invented and make it through the FDA's approval process in the next four years. The FDA review process itself typically takes years to complete.
So don't expect anyone to win PETA's prize.
I'm still waiting for those "Meat Trees" (genes from cattle spliced into the reproductive cells of grapefruit trees) described by the Weekly World News
back in 2003 to become a reality. (Thanks, Christopher)