Cell based meat and the future of food: policy and politics

  • Webinar


In this webinar, Professor Robyn Warner (Future Food Hallmark Research Initiative) and Dr Hope Johnson (QUT) presented their research findings.

Professor Warner presented on her research on the production of alternative proteins and the development of sustainable, healthy and affordable protein products as part of Melbourne’s Future Food Hallmark Initiative. Professor Warner drew on the major research themes of the project, including human nutrition, lifecycle analysis and water footprints, food science and engineering, consumer science, food policy and labelling to discuss how we may produce the meat, and ‘meat’, of the future.

Dr Johnson presented findings from her two socio-legal studies on cell-based meat and the law and discussed potential directions for the Australian regulation of cell-based products. She analysed existing intellectual property trends in cell-based products identifying implications for the future of the material, for its regulation and for broader societal outcomes. Hope also outlined the findings of an analysis of the USDA-FDA Joint Public Meeting on Use of Animal Cell Culture Technology (2018) to explore the underlying assumptions and positions of key stakeholder groups. Drawing on these investigations, and her broader work in novel proteins, Hope explored potential ways in which cell-based products will be regulated in Australia.


Robyn Warner is a Professor of Meat Science and the Domain Leader for Food and Nutritional Science in the School of Agriculture and Food at the University of Melbourne. She is Chair to the Future Food Hallmark Research Initiative, a multi-disciplinary, University of Melbourne-funded project applying a wide range of disciplines to alternative protein, including cultivated meat production. Professor Warner researches in the area of sustainable future food industry, specifically packaging interventions and smart packaging, consumer sensory perceptions as well as fundamental investigations of the of the biology biochemistry and biophysics of muscle and food in determining tenderness, colour, flavour and shelf-life.Professor Warner has published over 100 papers in refereed journals and has received international and national awards for her role on the Meat Standards Australia food grading scheme.

Dr Hope Johnson is a Senior Lecturer in the Law School at the Queensland University of Technology. Hope researches food and agricultural law, regulation, and governance at international and domestic levels. Her book entitled, International Agricultural Law & Policy (2018), was the first academic monograph to analyse and conceptualise international law as it applies to food production. Her recent research has focused on the regulation of novel proteins, which she investigates using socio-legal methods.

This event is the first seminar of the Sustainable Food System seminar series and is co-hosted by Centre for Resources, Energy and Environmental Law, Future Food Hallmark Research Initiative and Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.