AP health reporters JoNel Aleccia and Laura Ungar and video journalist Terry Chea broke the news on June 21 that U.S. regulators had, for the first time, approved the sale of a new kind of meat made from animal cells.
They did it through months of reporting and background negotiations with regulators, industry experts and the two California firms vying to get their cultivated chicken products approved first. Aleccia and Chea visited the company on track to win the first approval to see how this meat is made, to taste it — and to make sure we had a story and video ready.
Meanwhile, Eva Malek created an animation to show how the process works and Aleccia and Ungar wrote an explainer. When Aleccia discovered that another company was also near approval, Aleccia and Chea visited the second company.
In the end, both companies were approved on the same day, and AP alone had fresh reporting, photos and video from both. AP was first with the story, posting within minutes of the approval, capturing search and leading competitors for hours.