An animal rights group says it will fork over $1 million to the first scientist to create a lab-grown meat that proves to be commercially successful at the supermarket checkout.

The Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said the meat, which would be grown in a lab using animal stem cells, must be ready to sell by June 30, 2012.

PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said the 'in-vitro' lab technology could prove to be a breakthrough in the treatment of animals.

"Some promising steps have been made toward this technology, but we're still several years away from having in-vitro meat be available to the general public," PETA said on its website.

The group says the winning entrant must be able to manufacture enough of the meat, which must resemble chicken, to be sold in at least 10 states at a competitive price. 

The entrants must prove that consumers bought at least 45 kilograms of meat in each state. Judges will also assess the meat's taste and texture.

With files from the Associated Press