The Fatwa Committee of Singapore has released a religious guidance affirming the permissibility of consuming cultivated meat by Muslims, stating that it is generally halal.
This decision comes after careful consideration of the ethical and environmental benefits of alternative food sources, in line with global efforts towards sustainability and combating climate change.
Cultivated meat, also known as lab-grown or cell-based meat, is produced using cell culturing techniques, including tissue culturing or stem cells taken from animals.
This innovative method offers a more environmentally sustainable approach to meat production compared to traditional farming and fishing practices.
“Novel foods, which can be produced through more environmentally sustainable means compared to traditional agriculture and aquaculture, offer a practical way to contribute to environmental sustainability,” Muis said in a statement.
The Fatwa Committee’s decision was prompted by the Singapore Food Agency’s approval of the sale of cultivated meat products in 2020.
The religious guidance was developed to address questions regarding the permissibility of consuming such foods within the Muslim community. It aims to provide clarity and support for future plans of halal certification for cultivated meat, empowering Muslim consumers to make informed choices based on their dietary preferences.
According to Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) press release, in determining the religious position on cultivated meat, the Fatwa Committee considered three key aspects : the process and source of the meat, the methods of production, and the ingredients used.
After extensive research, consultation with stakeholders, industry players, and scientists, the committee concluded that cultivated meat can be considered halal under the following conditions:
- The source of cells must come from animals that are halal for consumption.
- All ingredients that contribute to the texture and composition of the cultivated meat must be halal.
- The final product must be non-toxic and clean.
Halal certification serves to provide greater assurance to Muslim consumers that a specific food product conforms to halal standards. “These guidelines are intended to ensure that halal dietary rules are maintained and followed. In all cases, Muslim consumers make their own informed choice whether to patronise any halal-certified eating establishment or consume any halal-certified food product’ MUIS said in its release.
Image via Reuters
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