THE United States has approved the sale of laboratory-grown meat using chicken cells produced by two Californian companies.

Both Upside Foods and Good Meat have won approval from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market cell-cultivated meat derived from chickens.

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Conventionally in the USA, the FDA oversees the safety of ingredients used in meat and poultry products and regulates live food-producing animals up to the point of slaughter.

The USDA then oversees the slaughter, processing, packaging and labelling process.

For so-called cultivated meat, the FDA oversees the sourcing, selection, and growth of the cells and all components and inputs used in the production process.

The USDA takes over when the cells are removed from the sealed cultivators, according to Upside Foods.

The products are manufacured by taking a sample of cells from a living animal, in this case a chicken, which are grown over several weeks in a steel tank before being harvested and shaped into products.

While the approval for sale in the US marks a major milestone in the nascent industry, there is a long way to go before cultivated meat is likely to be seen on supermarket shelves.

Its introduction to the market will be in high-end restaurants until the production is scaled and costs are reduced.