(Bloomberg) -- Moolec Science SA, a seed producer trying to break into the alternative-meat market, received clearance from the US Department of Agriculture for its soybeans that are genetically modified to include pork protein.

Moolec, a unit of Argentine biotech group Bioceres, listed in New York last year. It has been working on inserting pork genes into soy, and beef genes into peas to create hybrid plant-animal proteins that can replace actual meat in sausages and burgers while satisfying meat-eaters’ palates.

Read More: Argentine Meatpacking Heir Wants to Embed Crops With Animal DNA

While the USDA’s Animal Plant Health Inspection Service said the pork-infused soy doesn’t pose an increased risk of pests, and therefore doesn’t need regulating, it said other agencies including the Food and Drug Administration may subject the seeds to requirements for full clearance.

Billions have been poured into making meat without animals. But people have turned away from plant-based products because they are expensive and fail to mimic the texture and taste of a real burger. Moolec says its soy and peas will help with the latter. Meanwhile, meat cultivated in laboratories is still enduring headwinds and is a long way from mass production.

Another Bioceres Group unit, Bioceres Crop Solutions Corp., is trying to win global acceptance for the first gene-modified wheat.

--With assistance from Kim Chipman.

(Adds background on meat substitutes in fourth paragraph.)

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