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Startup to Make Lab-Grown Meat for Cats

Colorado-based Bond Pet Foods aims to eliminate traditional meat sources in the diets of obligate carnivores.

New food technology company Bond Pet Foods recently launched with the mission to replace meat in the diets of obligate carnivores—such as companion cats—with cultured meat (also known as “clean meat”) grown from animal cells in a lab setting. Several other companies, including Memphis Meats and Hampton Creek, are currently working on similar products for human consumption, with possibilities to be integrated in the companion animal food sector. Colorado-based Bond Pet, however, has a specific focus on developing better food for companion animals, an industry that company founder Rich Kelleman said lacks transparency, relies on dubious science, and is often filled with disease. “When you look at the tremendous number of recalls through the years,” Kelleman told media outlet Quartz, “certainly a lot of meat proteins are the culprits of a lot of food safety issues.” Bond Pet's consultant and “pet food” industry expert Ryan Yamka said that the company’s focus on animal food is a large opportunity given current trends. “Pet food has always been quick follower to the human food trends,” Yamka said. “So, it’s not surprising that you see … what I would call the sustainable food movement getting into the pet-food side.” While the company is still in its early stages, Yamka said that finding food for companion animals made from slaughter-free meats on store shelves could be “a couple of years” away.

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