UPSIDE Foods receives green light for cultivated meat from FDA

Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
18 November 2022

UPSIDE Foods, the leading cultivated meat, poultry and seafood company, has become the first company in the world to receive a ‘No Questions’ letter from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for cultivated meat, poultry and/or seafood. The letter signals that the FDA has accepted UPSIDE’s conclusion that its cultivated chicken is safe to eat.


UPSIDE Foods grows meat, poultry and seafood directly from animal cells. These products are not vegan or vegetarian – they are delicious meat, made without the need to raise and slaughter billions of animals. In addition, it's projected that cultivated meat production at scale will use less water and land than conventionally-produced meat. And because it's made in a controlled environment subject to high standards of testing for safety and quality control, it has the potential to reduce the risk of harmful bacterial contamination.

Chicken and waffles made with UPSIDE Foods' cultivated meat

The Virgin Group invested in UPSIDE Foods in 2017 and since then, the brand has gone through a number of significant milestones. It rebranded in 2021 from Memphis Meats, and in the same year it opened the world’s most advanced cultivated meat production facility.

The FDA released a memo detailing the agency’s review of the data and information provided by UPSIDE Foods to establish the safety of its cultivated chicken filet. It also released a comprehensive 104-page document prepared by UPSIDE Foods that provides detailed information regarding the safety of and production process for UPSIDE’s cultivated chicken filet.

Richard Branson trying out Upside Food's chicken
Upside Foods

“This is a watershed moment in the history of food,” said Dr Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of UPSIDE Foods. “We started UPSIDE amid a world full of sceptics, and today, we've made history again as the first company to receive a 'No Questions' letter from the FDA for cultivated meat. This milestone marks a major step towards a new era in meat production, and I'm thrilled that US consumers will soon have the chance to eat delicious meat that's grown directly from animal cells.”

Uma Valeti, Founder & CEO, cutting the ribbon at the opening of the UPSIDE Engineering, Production and Innovation Centre

Since its founding in 2015, UPSIDE Foods has supported the development of a regulatory framework for cultivated meat that ensures safety and transparency. In 2018, it partnered with the North American Meat Institute to advocate for join regulatory oversight of cultivated meat by the FDA and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). The following year, UPSIDE Foods co-founded the world’s first trade coalition for cultivated meat, the Alliance of Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation.


“Since our earliest days, our top priority has been to ensure the safety and quality of our products,” said Eric Schulze, VP of regulatory and public policy at UPSIDE Foods. “FDA sets the standard for global acceptance of new food innovations, and we are incredibly grateful for the agency's rigorous and thoughtful process to ensure the safety of our food supply. We're also extremely proud to have played a leading role in helping to champion the framework for how cultivated meat, poultry and seafood are regulated in the US.”

In the US, cultivated meat is regulated by both the FDA ad the USDA. Now that UPSIDE Foods has received a ‘No Questions’ letter from the FDA, it will work with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to secure the remaining approvals that are required before UPSIDE Foods’ cultivated chicken can be sold to consumers.

Visit UPSIDE Foods to find out more.