The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association is gearing up for a public dialogue on fake meat products next month after the FDA announced it will be holding a meeting to address cultured meat technology.
“NCBA looks forward to participating fully in the public meeting, and will use the opportunity to advocate for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversight of lab-grown fake meat products. The Food and Drug Administration’s announcement disregards the authorities granted to USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, as well as USDA’s significant scientific expertise and long-standing success in ensuring the safety of all meat and poultry products,” said NCBA Director of Government Affairs Danielle Beck. “Under the current regulatory framework, FDA plays an important role in terms of ensuring the safety of food additives used in meat, poultry, and egg products. All additives are initially evaluated for safety by FDA, but ultimately FSIS maintains primary jurisdiction.”
While the primary focus of the July 12 meeting is food safety, the FDA encourages stakeholders to share their information and data, and wants to have a dialogue around other areas of interest related to foods produced through animal cell culture technology, such as labeling. The intent is to engage in a public discussion on this evolving technology to ensure the FDA understands and considers all aspects to determine the best approach to these novel products.
The public meeting is not a formal decision and will not prevent USDA from asserting primary jurisdiction. USDA oversight of lab-grown protein products is consistent with existing federal laws. Lab-grown protein products fall within statutory definitions of a meat byproduct. USDA is responsible for ensuring the safety and proper labeling of all such products under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).