The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association condemned a recently announced U.S. Department of Defense-sponsored research grant that will fund the development of lab-grown meat products by a biotechnology manufacturing company called BioMADE.

NCBA says it’s outraged that the Department of Defense is spending millions of taxpayer dollars to feed America’s heroes like lab rats.

“U.S. cattle producers raise the highest quality of beef in the world, with the lowest carbon footprint, and American troops in all branches deserve to get that same wholesome, natural meat and not the ultra-processed, lab-grown protein that is cooked up in a chemical-filled bioreactor,” says National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane. “This misguided research project is a giant slap in the face to everyone who has served the country.”

The NCBA, which has represented cattle producers since 1898, says American veterans and active-duty troops deserve so much better than this.