When is meat not meat?

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When is meat not meat?

March 17, 2021 @ 2:00 pm

You are invited! The Asia Pacific Association for Regulatory Science (APARS) interim steering committee invites you to an online discussion on 17th March at 2 – 3:30pm AEST.

The APARS workshop is free to register and will be held via EventBrite.  The topic is: “When is meat not meat?”

Vertebrate livestock as a traditional source of animal protein in the Australian diet is being challenged by new technologies promising ‘slaughter free’ meat or more sustainable protein sources. From plant-based ‘meats’ and ‘milks’, to cultured cells of plant or animal origin, to insects and beyond, these technologies have implications for our future dietary habits, and also for our regulatory systems that govern the integrity and safety of our food. These new technologies and sources of protein challenge our conception of food production, what ‘meat’ actually is, and how food should be labelled. Join our online discussion to hear our panel of experts reflecting on their experience of developing and regulating these new technologies. We ask you to consider, as a consumer, when is meat not meat? When it comes from a lab? When it comes from a plant? When it comes from an insect? And should these new sources of protein be regulated in similar ways to our traditional production methods using livestock?


We have lined up five experts to discuss key issues around emerging technologies for alternative protein sources for humans including:

Steve Crossley
Manager – International and Dietary Exposure Assessment at Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Steve re-joined Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) in 2014 as a Principal Advisor – Food Product Standards, bringing extensive knowledge of food safety risk assessment.  Prior to FSANZ, Steve spent time in Italy providing scientific advice about chemicals hazards in food, to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).  In 2010, Steve joined Food Standards Australia as Manager of Food Safety and Chief Science Advisor.  Prior to this, Steve was the Head of Evidence and Analysis with The Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA).

FSANZ is an independent statutory agency established by the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Act 1991 (FSANZ Act).  FSANZ is part of the Australian Government’s Health portfolio.  FSANZ develops standards that regulate the use of ingredients, processing aids, colourings, additives, vitamins and minerals.  The Food Standards Code also covers the composition of some foods, such as dairy, meat and beverages as well as foods developed by new technologies such as genetically modified foods.  FSANZ are responsible for some labelling requirements for packaged and unpackaged food, for example specific mandatory warnings or advisory labels and develops Australia-only primary production and processing standards.

Aleta Knowles
Head of Clinical R&D at Virbac Australia

Aleta joined Virbac Australia in 2016 and is the Head of Clinical R&D.  Aleta is engaged in the management of veterinary clinical research and development programs enabling the delivery of innovative animal health technologies to veterinarians, pet owners and farmers. Aleta engages with global researchers, key opinion leaders and clinical research organisations to identify new technologies and develop them into products that meet the needs of Virbac customers.

George Peppou
Co-founder and CEO of Vow

In 2019, George became the co-founder and CEO at Vow. Vow uses cultured meat technology to craft an entirely new category of food.  Cultured meat, unlike animal agriculture, isn’t limited to the animals that grow fast and breed well in captivity.  In fact, any animal is now potentially on the menu.

Prior to the establishment of Vow, George founded and ran GrowLab: Australia’s accelerator for agrifood tech startups based at Cicada Innovations in Sydney Australia.  In under two years months GrowLab has invested in and accelerated 11 companies which have raised a combine $27m, sell products on four continents and employ over 70 people.

Dr Raj Bhula
Gene Technology Regulator Office of the Gene Technology Regulator

Dr Raj Bhula is the Gene Technology Regulator, appointed for five years commencing 18 July 2016. She is responsible for administering the national regulatory system for gene technology. The OGTR staff are part of the Department of Health.

Dr Bhula has over 20 years of experience in the regulation of pesticides in Australia. She worked as the Executive Director of Scientific Assessment and Chemical Review at the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority and Program Manager Pesticides for almost 10 years. Dr Bhula has experience in representing Australia at international expert committees such as the Codex Committee for Pesticide Residues and contributed to technical groups of the OECD Working Group on Pesticides. Much of this work has included the development of technical policy and risk assessment methodologies.

Prior to joining the public service, Dr Bhula was a research associate and part-time lecturer at the Australian Defence Forces Academy, University of New South Wales in Canberra.

Thomas King
Founder, Food Frontier

Thomas is a social entrepreneur, international speaker and future food specialist who has been recognised as one of Australia’s most accomplished young pioneers.  For the last decade, Thomas has driven food systems, environmental and poverty alleviation initiatives across five continents.  He was named Young Australian of the Year VIC in 2015 and awarded a Myer Innovation Fellowship in 2019.  Realising the limitations of industrial animal agriculture to sustainably feed the global population into the future, Thomas founded Food Frontier in 2017 to help industry, innovators and policymakers champion alternative proteins and create a more sustainable, nutritious and future-proof food supply.  Thomas serves on the steering committee for Global Table, the Asia Pacific’s largest agrifood innovation event.

Meet out workshop facilitator: 

Bob Mullins
Syngenta Australasia, Regulatory and Stewardship Lead

With wide experience in senior roles within the agriculture sector, Bob’s areas of expertise are extensive. Bob is well versed in agri-business strategy development and implementation internationally both in in start-ups and in a world leading agribusiness.

Bob’s current position, as Regulatory and Stewardship Lead of Syngenta Australasia, sees him lead a team to develop and implement regulatory strategies and sustainability initiatives, and to strengthen links to government and industry.


The RACT conference in February 2020 identified the desire for a regulatory science association that would foster networks and enhance capacity building, through activities including promotion of regulatory science as a career option. An interim steering committee is working to establish  the proposed Asia Pacific Association for Regulatory Science (APARS).

Feel free to forward this invite to anyone who may be interested in growing a stakeholder network around the regulation of agvet chem.

Please RSVP to join this discussion, the APARS second online event.

We are looking forward to seeing you!


March 17, 2021
2:00 pm