Juliet Stein

Dear Senator Fetterman

The coastline of Tel Aviv, Israel. 2022
The coastline of Tel Aviv, Israel. 2022

Dear Senator Fetterman,

As a Jewish constituent from Pennsylvania, I am deeply encouraged by your recent interest in Israel’s challenges and your upcoming inaugural trip to the Jewish state. While you are in our homeland, I encourage you to examine not just the immediate security matters but also the long-term, forward-thinking innovations Israel is making to enhance its food security, a sector we already see affected by the current conflict.

As you will hear on your visit, the country that brought drip irrigation to the world (including Pennsylvania) is now, with the support of the Israeli government, pioneering agricultural and food technologies that allow for meat to be made with cultivated technologies, giving Israel hope that its food supply can ultimately be domestically made and reliably available.

As Prime Minister Netanyahu highlighted in 2023: “Israel is the first country to approve the sale of cultured meat. This is a global breakthrough in the field of alternative protein and important news for food security, environmental protection, and concern for animals.” This technology, developed with government support and backed by the Israel Innovation Authority, allows for meat production directly from animal cells, addressing critical needs for sustainable food production amid climate change and population growth. The Israel Innovation Authority, a branch of the Israeli government tasked with supporting development and research within Israel, is dedicated to supporting cultivated meat technologies in order to “accelerate the development of cultured meat technologies, the aim of making Israel a global leader in this field.” As with many technologies that have come before, Israel is no doubt poised to lead the charge, coming in only second to the United States in both number of food technology startups and capital investment.

I am concerned that your recent support of legislation to hinder the development of cultivated meat in the United States will directly harm Israel’s cultivated meat sector, given the corporate and international research and development partnerships. Israel’s transformative technological achievements have always been outward-facing; that is, meant to be shared with the world through strategic collaborations. Opposing cultivated meat is akin to opposing Israel’s drip irrigation technologies that were new when they were introduced decades ago—a move that would have stifled a transformative technology vital to global agricultural success. Today, Israel provides the world’s leading drip irrigation system, tackling crises from flooded rice fields in India to the overallocation of the Colorado River in the United States.

Israel’s venture into cultivated meat is a crucial response to its unique challenges, such as limited arable farmland and ongoing geopolitical issues. This new technology that Israel is so heavily invested in needs your support, not antagonism and skepticism. This sector not only fortifies sustainability, emerging technology, and food independence, but also solidifies Israel’s position as a worldwide leader in a rapidly growing global industry.

Thank you for the statements you have made that are supportive of Israel. I hope you will also, in time, come to support the technologies that enable Israel to thrive.


Juliet Stein

About the Author
Juliet Stein is the Vice President of WD Biotech, an alternative protein investment firm, and has been an archaeobotanist & guest lecturer at University of Pennsylvania, a board member of the Jewish National Fund Futures Philadelphia Chapter, and started a local foundation dedicated to Jewish education and Israel advocacy.
Related Topics
Related Posts