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PETA US' $1M 'In Vitro' Chicken Contest Deadline Expires as Pig and Cow Cells Steal the Research Limelight
Although the 4 March 2014 deadline for the prize has now expired, PETA US' in vitro chicken contest was a success.
Since PETA US announced the prize, laboratory work on in vitro meat has come a long way, and a commercially viable in vitro beef hamburger or pork sausage is certain to be created. Also encouraging, the science used in the development of in vitro pork and beef will eventually be used to create in vitro chicken, sparing chickens – the most abused animals used for food by virtue of their sheer number, more than 50 billion killed around the world every year – mass suffering and death.
The prize offer has served a purpose, and PETA US will now be entertaining ideas for putting that $1 million to good use in combating cruelty in food production. The first focus may be in legal challenges to "ag-gag" legislation that makes it a crime to record atrocities on factory farms and in slaughterhouses, thereby keeping the consumer in the dark.
"PETA US is happy that its offer sparked debate, created a fellowship, prompted interest and investment from the food industry and dot-com millionaires and has seen patents pending for breakthroughs in developing the process, from tissue scaffolding to muscle development", says PETA UK Managing Director Ingrid E Newkirk. "US President Herbert Hoover's electioneering cry of 'a chicken in every pot' was the impetus for PETA US' extension of its $1 million prize – and with an in vitro chicken in every pot on the horizon, the organisation is eager to move on to more innovative new ways to combat cruelty to animals in the meat industry."