Have Questions or Comments?
Leave us some feedback and we'll reply back!

    Your Name (required)

    Your Email (required)

    Phone Number)

    In Reference to

    Your Message


    The Food and Drug
    Administration has
    cleared lab-grown
    meat, created from
    cultured animal
    cells, for human
    consumption. What is the OU’s
    take on this? Is it kosher?
    It’s still being reviewed and discussed; the
    technology is unique. Every company has its
    own technology, and the differences in how
    the product is made can hugely impact the
    decision regarding kashrut. Exactly how it’s
    made by individual companies can change
    the halacha from one company to the next.
    There are some poskim who are taking
    the position that it doesn’t matter how it’s
    made. If it looks like meat and it tastes like
    meat, then we’re going to have to treat it as
    fleishigs. They feel that anything that looks
    and tastes like meat should be fleishigs,
    they’re taking that position because of mares
    ayin. The problem would be that if this meat
    would actually be considered pareve while
    real meat is fleishigs, but they look and taste

    the same, then how are we supposed to make
    sure people don’t make a mistake if it’s really
    meat? This leads several Rabbonim to say
    “We cannot allow this to be called anything
    but meat.” It’s a real consideration that may
    make this entire conversation irrelevant. Not
    everybody is ready to accept that, because
    although this is a very interesting halachic
    concept that I’ve discussed in several
    lectures, there are things that Chazal says
    you’re not allowed to do because they were
    concerned. Those concerns probably don’t
    exist today, but once Chazal says you’re not
    allowed to do things, then you’re not allowed
    to do that even if the circumstances of why
    they said it changed. There are other things
    that Chazal never said that were prohibited,
    but if Chazal were here now, they might
    be prohibited. For example, when I speak
    about the subject of the LED watches that
    have buttons on the sides, I’m convinced
    that were Chazal here today, they wouldn’t
    allow the watches on Shabbos because it’s
    a real concern that one might press the
    buttons. So why are we allowed to wear these
    watches? These watches didn’t exist at the
    time of Chazal and since there was no such

    watch, then it was obviously not included in
    anything they said. There’s another example:
    There is a famous teshuva who quotes a very
    famous story from the Klausenberger Rebbe.
    Many people used cottonseed oil on Pesach,
    and they didn’t consider it kitniot, but some
    considered it kitniyot. The Klausenberger
    Rebbe says in a teshuva that kitniyot is a
    minhag and the minhag only includes what’s
    in the minhag; what’s not in the minhag it’s
    not included.
    Since there was no cottonseed oil when the
    minhag was instituted, we’re allowed to use
    poppy seed oil on Pesach. Another great
    example is potatoes; potatoes can be made
    into potato flour and potato starch. So why
    can we use potatoes on Pesach? When the
    minhag was instituted to define kitniyot,
    potatoes hadn’t been eaten yet. We can’t make
    our own rules. That’s why they say that even
    though there’s a strong reason to understand
    why this meat should be considered meat,
    it’s not in our power to make these kinds of
    rules. There are others who disagree; they
    say of course we not only have to think of the
    letter of the law, but also the spirit of the law.
    The spirit of the law is that one should not,

    Chas v’Shalom, eat something that is meat
    with something that is dairy.
    There’s also another technical issue, which
    is of course extremely complicated. How
    exactly is this meat made, and from what
    part of the animal are the cells taken from?
    If it were possible to take cells from the hair
    or urine of an animal, then it wouldn’t be as
    much of an issue, but that’s not the type of
    technology that’s being used. They’re taking
    them from a piece of meat, which is why
    I believe that A) This product will only be
    certifiable if it comes from a piece of meat
    and B) It’s labeled as meat.