I was excited to learn Singapore is funding cultured-meat research in a robust manner. For readers who don’t know, cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering animals. Singapore’s government, which represents 5 million people, plans to invest $100 million into development of cultured meat, microbial protein and urban agriculture. Congress should make a proportional investment in cultured-meat research.

Besides the obvious improvement to animal welfare, cultured meat will benefit human health and the environment. We’re currently living through a global crisis caused by a zoonotic virus known as COVID-19. In recent years, we’ve seen a number of diseases make the leap from animals to humans. You might know some of them as bird flu or swine flu. Cultured meat removes such risk from food production.

The greenhouse gas emissions, freshwater and land required to produce cultured meat are a tiny fraction of those necessary to raise livestock. Meanwhile, since cultured meat is produced in a closed system, there is no runoff of agricultural waste into rivers and oceans. For the sake of animal welfare, human health and the environment, we need federal investment in this revolutionary technology, commensurate with funding provided by Singapore.

Jon Hochschartner lives in Granby.

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