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Liputan6.com, Beijing – China has signed a deal worth US $ 300 million to buy synthetic meat from Israel. This is considered to open the door for vegan food producers to "play" in the Chinese market, the most densely populated country in the world.
Synthetic meat developed in the laboratory using animal cells. This concept is opposed by a number of vegans. However, some human rights and environmental groups call it an interesting development.
Bruce Friedrich, Head of the Good Food Institute (GFI), an organization promoting meat alternatives praised the deal as "a colossal market opportunity". He believes the agreement will make China direct billions of dollars into this technology. Similarly, as quoted from the Independent on Sunday (17/09/2017).
Although using animal cells, synthetic meat is not entirely free from animal killings. Scientists are currently developing truly synthetic substitutes.
For many environmental groups and animal lovers, synthetic meat is seen as a positive step to avoid animal slaughter. It is also considered a more eco-friendly option than factory farming.
China is basically not considered a world leader in environmental issues. Therefore, Beijing's agreement with three Israeli companies, SuperMeat, Future Meat Technologies, and Meat the Future was welcomed as a marker that China is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
China currently imports about 10 billion euros of meat annually to meet the needs of more than 1.4 billion people.
The Chinese government itself has sparked a plan to reduce its citizens' meat consumption by 50 percent. By climateists, this step is considered a way to reduce global warming.
It is estimated that 14.5 percent of global warming emissions on Earth come from cattle raisers and feeders – more than the transport sector generates.
Livestock releases methane which includes greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, land clearing and fertilizer release large amounts of carbon.
"Through this lifestyle change, it is expected that the livestock industry will change and carbon emissions will be reduced," said Li Junfeng, Director General of the National Center for China's Strategic Changes on Climate and International Cooperation.A recent report by scientists at Oxford Martin School found that widespread adoption of vegetarianism worldwide could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly two-thirds.