USDA-FDA Public Meeting To Discuss Regulating Cultured Meat

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Sep 13, 2018

USDA and FDA will hold a joint public meeting next month in Washington to discuss the use of cell culture technology to develop food products derived from animals.

The meeting, Oct. 23-24 in a USDA office, will focus on the potential hazards, oversight considerations and labeling of “cell cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry,” the announcement said.

It comes amidst reports that the developers of these technologies have agreed to call their products “cell-based meat,” not “clean meat”; and they are planning to form their own association.

“This is an important opportunity to hear from the agricultural industry and consumers as we consider the regulatory framework for these new products,” said USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. “American farmers and ranchers feed the world, but as technology advances, we must consider how to inspect and regulate to ensure food safety, regardless of the production method.”

“The FDA knows just how vital it is to ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply and the critical role science-based, modern regulatory frameworks are to fostering innovation,” added Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner. “Recent advances in animal cell cultured food products present many important and timely technical and regulatory considerations for the FDA and our partners at USDA.”

The first day of the meeting will focus primarily on the potential hazards that need to be controlled for the safe production of animal cell cultured food products and oversight considerations by regulatory agencies. The second day of the meeting will focus on labeling considerations.

Representatives of industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the meeting. Attendees are encouraged to pre-register at the Meetings and Events page (https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/meetings) on the FSIS website. The meeting will be held on Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Oct. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium in the USDA South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20250.

Anyone who wishes to submit written comments prior to the public meeting or after the meeting may do so by submitting comments on regulations.gov (https://www.regulations.gov/) by Nov. 26.

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