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Biotech The Almighty Buck Science

PETA Abandons $1 Million Prize For Artificial Chicken 191

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the peta-decides-eating-people-is-fine dept.
sciencehabit writes "Don't expect an artificial chicken in every pot anytime soon. Since 2008, the animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has offered $1 million to anyone able to create a commercially viable artificial meat from growing chicken cells. But although scientists are making progress toward artificial hamburgers, even a 2-year extension from the original deadline of 2012 wasn't enough to lure applicants for PETA's prize."
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PETA Abandons $1 Million Prize For Artificial Chicken

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  • Wouldnt want it (Score:1, Interesting)

    by ruir (2709173) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @04:10AM (#46394651)
    Who would want it? Die hard long time vegetarians (like me) abhor fake meats as much as real meats - they are disgusting the (almost) the same way. Even fake cheese smells like wet socks... Then everything that matters is price, and I seriously doubt any commercial venture of fake chicken, no matter how good, will be able to compete in price with an inhuman industry that cuts so many corners to be profitable. And even then, where would the eggs come from? PETA is too crazy and bordering fanaticism in my book.
  • by ReallyEvilCanine (991886) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @04:38AM (#46394691) Homepage
    The prize was bogus to begin with, as explained in this Slate article from 2008 [slate.com]. In short, it wouldn't be paid out unless the contestant was selling a ton of the stuff in stores and restaurants across 10 states over three months... at the same price as real chicken.

    Science prizes are supposed to encourage development of things not yet commercially viable; this was a phony small tip for someone already successful. "Phony", because even if someone had the breakthrough needed on the day after this was announced, there's no way in hell that it could be approved for use and on market shelves in time to meet even the extended deadline.

    And then there were the contest requirements, including full disclosure of ingredients and methods (trade secrets), carte blanche use of any- and everything related for PeTA's promotional purposes, rules subject to change without notice, and so on.

    This was never a serious offer, just serious marketing, something PeTA mastered long ago. This "prize" retraction just got them some more free air time and, no doubt, some new members & donations... saith an older and hopefully wiser former member & supporter.
  • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @04:39AM (#46394699) Journal

    What I'd like to know is, why does PETA hate chickens so much? You don't have to be a genius to foresee what will happen to the chicken species if we abandon them as a food source.

    That said, being able to grow slabs of chicken breast in a nutrient bath at home would be pretty sweet, if it could be done.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @05:01AM (#46394749)

    How dare they expose what really happens to the animals you eat... they're evil, just evil. And hypocrite too.

    (There, that lets me off the hook, now I can go back to paying people to torture and kill animals so I can eat them, and convince myself I'm a 'good' person...)

  • Efficency? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blaskowicz (634489) on Tuesday March 04, 2014 @05:11AM (#46394773)

    I have trouble believing artificial meat would be remotely competitive in terms of nutrients use and various supporting chemical agents, energy inputs, costs of installation, maintenance and even the need for an artificial immunological system.

    Chicken are incredibly efficient, and their eggs are even more efficient, this is reflected in the low price of the meat and eggs. Yeah I've had a philosophy that when fossil fuels aren't directly involved, cheaper is mostly synonymous with ecological.
    It's possible that successful artificial meat on a massive scale would lead to more resource depletion and more global warming, in my mind. It would perhaps create incredibly resistant, "superbug" viruses or bacteria. I'm not terribly concerned with killing chicken in that scheme.

    What certainly could be done is regulation to give way more space for the hen / chicken, small tariff on imports from countries that don't have a strong enough regulation yet. Yes, regulations, I hope that doesn't sound too evil and bureaucratic (weird how digiliently global regulations on IP are made up and applied yet libertarian corporate overlords don't bitch about them).

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