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    Where’s The Beef? China Signs $300 Million Deal with Israel to Import ‘Lab Meat’

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    China just signed a $300 million deal with Israel that would allow them to import Israel’s lab-growing meat technologies.

    There are currently three Israeli food technology firms — SuperMeat, Meat the Future, and Future Meat Technologies — that replace animal-based protein with "clean meat." Lab grown meat is a form of cellular agriculture used to grow meat from animal cells or plant protein, which cuts down on animal slaughter. 

    Bruce Friedrich, the head of The Good Food Institute, a US nonprofit that promotes plant-based meat, dairy and eggs, said that this deal is a "colossal market opportunity" that "could put [clean] meat onto the radar of Chinese officials who have the capacity to steer billions of dollars into this technology."

    Last year, the Chinese government released a new set of dietary guidelines that could reduce the population's consumption of meat by 50 percent. The Chinese Ministry of Health is also advising its citizens to limit their meat and egg intake to 200 grams daily, instead of the daily 300 grams per day most Chinese people consume, according to onegreenplanet.org.

    In addition, according to the International Trade Centre, Chinese meat imports cost the country $10 billion in 2016, meaning that a meat alternatives industry has the potential to really thrive in China.

    Lab meat may also help decrease Chinese greenhouse gas emissions. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, livestock production contributes to 14.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and 2015 data from the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research reveals that China released a whopping 10,641,788 kilotons of carbon dioxide emissions in 2015. The implementation of lab meat technology in China may help substantially decrease the country's high greenhouse emissions.

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    import, meat, laboratory, vegan, Israel, China
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