Artificial burger launch

A professor from the University of Maastricht has created the world’s first artificial burger grown from a cow’s stem cells, due to be launched 5 August in London.

The ‘in vitro’ burger will be presented to an audience by creator Professor Mark Post, with a brief explanation of the science behind the new invention before cooking the burger for a person who has yet to be confirmed.

The newly invented burger costs around £250,000, but scientists hope that further research will lead to artificial meat being sold in supermarkets in the next 10 years.

The burger has been created using 3,000 artificial strips of beef and aims to tackle the problem of food shortages faced around the world. The World Health Organisaion (WHO) has estimated that meat demands will double by 2050.

Post explains his vision as having a limited herd of donor animals around the world, which will provide scientists with stem cells, meaning animals will still be needed for the technology.

Animal welfare organisations have expressed their support for the artificial meat initiative, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Speaking to the Independent on Sunday, Post said: “Right now, we are using 70% of all our agricultural capacity to grow meat through livestock. You are going to need alternatives. If we don’t do anything, meat will become a luxury food and will become very expensive.”

The team consists of Post and two technicians and the project is financed privately.