Investors shun Frankenstein meat

would you eat meat grown in a test tube?

It has been known for some time that it is possible for meat to be grown in a laboratory. Tissue engineering developments means the technology exists to allow scientists to grow meat directly from animal cells, but the big question remains - who on earth would want to eat it?

Unsurprisingly this rather creepy possibility has not had investors throwing their money at scientists who want to develop the idea. Vladimir Mironov, an American biological researcher, has published a process he developed to grow cow cells into edible hamburgers in the journal, Tissue Engineering. Unfortunately for him, he cannot find anyone willing to fund it.

Mironov got to the root of the problem when he said, "In business, who pays to make a product nobody wants to buy? You show this technology and say, 'Do you want to try the meat?' and they all say, 'No,'" he said.

"It's not Frankenstein meat," insisted Mironov. "It's like hydroponic tomatoes."

Kim Matthews, meat scientist at the Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) said he was doubtful as to whether people would ever want to eat lab-grown meat. "It's got the yuck factor," he said, "it's so unusual and people would say it doesn't feel right."