Would you eat meat grown in a laboratory?

Would you eat meat grown in a laboratory? It has the potential to end world hunger and is much better for the environment, but is it safe, ethical or even necessary?

The first 'test-tube' burger is due to be served up in October this year following the successful development of a process which involves abstracting a cow's stem cells and growing strips of meat which will then be transformed into what is being referred to as the 'Frankenburger.' However, as with many scientific developments the lab-grown meat has attracted extensive controversy despite developers' claims that it is the "future of food" and has the potential to end world hunger and prevent the environmental damage that current meat production creates.

Those in favour of the process say that it is 96% more environmentally friendly; has the ability to end world hunger due to the speed and cost-effectiveness of the method; is kinder to animals and would free up land for other uses.

On the other hand, those who stand firmly against the new development question its safety; argue that it is not real meat and is not natural; are concerned for the job losses to meat farmers; and worry that scientists are messing too much with nature.

Although 'test-tube' meat remains in its early stages it does mark a ground-breaking discovery in food production and scientific innovation, whether it is safe, or indeed tasty is yet to be confirmed.

[Picture shows a strip of muscle tissue produced by the scientists at Maastricht University in the Netherlands where the process is being developed]

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