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252773: Ruling on eating synthetic meat produced by using stem cells


Is it permissible to eat meat that is grown from stem cells? Because it is expected that synthetic meat made from stem cells will become widely available in the future.

Published Date: 2018-09-14

Praise be to Allah.

We have already discussed stem cells and the permissibility of using them for medical treatment if their source is permissible. See the answer to question no. 108125.

With regard to the use of these cells in the production of synthetic meat, to sum up what we have found out about it, a group of Dutch scientists at the University of Maastricht has been able to produce meat in the lab from stem cells taken from the muscles of cattle, which they turned into strips of muscle tissue that could be mixed together, using synthetic fat cells, to turn it into a product that could be eaten. But what has been produced up till now is small quantities that are not commercially viable.

We do not think that we should be hasty in issuing a ruling concerning such meat, until we know the source of the stem cells from which it is made and the nature of substances that are added in the manufacturing process, as well as the impact that it will have on human health. This issue should be examined by respectable academic bodies such as the Islamic Fiqh Council, which previously examined the issues of cloning and use of stem cells.

And Allah knows best.

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