A recently launch startup called BiteLabs, which is currently soliciting famous actors and musicians on Twitter to take samples of their DNA in order to lab-cultivate celebrity salami, appears to be more of a vehicle to facilitate dialogue on bioethics rather than product marketing following investigations by Vice.
Using the up-front tagline of Eat Celebrity Meat, BiteLabs has been encouraging Twitter users to tweet at a number of celebrities to help garner support for their proposed lab-grown salami product. According to their website, the process begins by taking a skin sample, isolating muscle stem cells and growing meat in their ‘proprietary bioreactors’, much like the lab burger grown last year in the UK.
It has since emerged that the product itself isn’t in development (though the people behind BiteLabs aren’t ruling that out if funding becomes available) and that the idea is mostly to stir debate and popular discussion on the subjects of bioethics and lab-grown meats.
In an email to Vice, BiteLabs CEO Martin (whose first name was not divulged), said “We think the cultural discussion around lab-grown meats and popular culture will acclimate people to the field. We’re treating it as a cultural precursor for when our product eventually hits production.”
Aside from no doubt irritating Jennifer Lawrence and James Franco with a collective barrage of tweets, the chances of anything tangible coming from this strange publicity push are inevitably quite slim. In any case, does anybody really want a salami composed of 30% Marlon Brando?