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The goal of creating viable synthetic meat in the laboratory and eventually in the factory has been driven by economic, environmental, and ethical concerns about the current state of animal agriculture. Livestock production ranks as one of the leading causes of deforestation, global warming, pollution, and water depletion, problems that will be exacerbated as the expanding middle classes in countries like China and India demand a Western-style, meat-heavy diet. The United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization estimates that “Global production of meat is projected to more than double from 229 million tons in 1999/01 to 465 million tons in 2050” and that the “environmental impact per unit of livestock production must be cut by half, just to avoid increasing the level of damage beyond its present level” (UNFAO 2006).
This technology, currently in its infancy with, as yet, no...
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