$325,000 Burger? Genetically Engineered Meat Made in Test Tube

First Posted: May 13, 2013 03:03 PM EDT

Scientists have produced the first genetically engineered burger that was made in a test tube, with a $325,000 price tag.

According to The New York Times, Dutch scientist Mark Post, who is with the Maastricth University in the Netherlands, attempted to create a hamburger entirely from billions of stem cells.

Maastrict told the newspaper that an anonymous donor gave scientists the pricey funds needed to complete the study. And, as far as he's concerned, the burger "tastes reasonably good."

"Let's make a proof of concept, and change the discussion from 'this is never going to work' to, 'well, we actually showed that it works, but now we need to get funding and work on it,'" Post said last fall, according to the paper.

In 2011, he told ABC News that meat consumption around the world will likely double, possibly making genetically engineered meats a viable source of protein.

"In my mind, meat consumption is here to stay, and if you want to do that at a higher efficiency than what is currently done by cows and pigs, you have to explore the possibility of doing that in the lab," according to Post.

A 2011 study in the journal Environmental Science and Technology showed that full-scale production of cultured meat could regatly reduce water, land and energy use, and emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases when compared with conventional raising and slaughtering of cattle or other livestock, according to The New York Times. Advocates believe environmental arguments like this will only gain support for further projects like these.

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