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Cultivated Meat Can Be Halal, Leading Shariah Scholars Tell GOOD Meat



11 Sep 2023

Cultivated Meat Can Be Halal, Leading Shariah Scholars Tell GOOD Meat

Cultivated Meat Can Be Halal, Leading Shariah Scholars Tell GOOD Meat

Cultivated meat can be considered halal if it meets certain criteria, according to three Shariah scholars who advised alt-protein leader Eat Just on the matter. The company, whose subsidiary GOOD Meat became the world’s first cultured meat producer to get regulatory approval in 2020, says it will work along these guidelines to make its cell-based chicken halal-certified.


Halal diets refer to the consumption of food in accordance with Islamic law. In terms of meat, this means animals must be slaughtered in a prescribed way, and certain types of meat and byproducts – including pork and blood products – are prohibited.


Making cultivated meat halal-certified could be a giant step toward the widespread acceptance and adoption of these foods. Halal consumers represent 25% of the world’s population, and the Halal meat market is estimated to grow by 7% annually to reach $375B in 2031. Additionally, research has found that Muslims want to see Halal certification – particularly from their own country’s authorities – to be confident in consuming alt-meat products.


The Shariah opinion comes from Sheikh Abdullah AlManea, Professor Abdullah al-Mutlaq and Professor Saad Al-Shathry – three widely respected scholars from Saudi Arabia. They reviewed documents prepared by GOOD Meat and attorneys describing how its cultivated chicken is produced, detailing how the cells are sourced and selected, the ingredients fed to the cells to stimulate growth, how the cells are harvested, and how finished products are manufactured.


The scholars concluded that cultivated meat, in general, can be halal if it meets the following criteria:

  • The cell line is from an animal that’s permissible to eat, like a chicken or cow.
  • The animal the cell line is extracted from is slaughtered according to Islamic law.
  • The nutrients fed to the cells are permissible to eat, and don’t include any forbidden substances like spilled blood, alcohol or materials extracted from improperly slaughtered animals, or pigs.
  • The cultivated meat is edible and does not harm human health, and this is confirmed by specialists, like a country’s food regulatory agency.


Eat Just confirmed to Green Queen that this means cultivated pork still won’t be considered halal, as the Quran prohibits the consumption of meat derived from pigs in Islamic culture. It also means that cultivated meat made from the controversial fetal bovine serum (FBS), which breaches Halal guidance as it’s derived from the blood of unborn calves, cannot be considered halal.


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