USDA/FSIS Asks for Comments on Cultured Meats

Sept. 8, 2021
Agency opens a 60-day comment period to guide future rule-making.

After more than two years of silence on the topic, the USDA published a request for comments on the labeling of cultured meat on September 2.

The agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published in the Federal Register "an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using cultured cells derived from animals under FSIS jurisdiction. FSIS will use these comments to inform future regulatory requirements for the labeling of such food products."

“This ANPR is an important step forward in ensuring the appropriate labeling of meat and poultry products made using animal cell culture technology,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin. “We want to hear from stakeholders and will consider their comments as we work on a proposed regulation for labeling these products.”

The last regulatory comment on the subject came March 7, 2019, when USDA and FDA announced a formal agreement – tentatively agreed to five months earlier – to jointly oversee the production of human food products made using animal cell culture technology and derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. Under that agreement, FDA will oversee cell collection, growth and differentiation of cells. FDA will transfer oversight at the cell harvest stage to FSIS, which will then oversee the cell harvest, processing, packaging and labeling of products – except in the case of seafood, which remains in FDA's hands.

FDA and FSIS also agreed to develop joint principles for the labeling of those products. made using cell culture technology under their respective labeling jurisdictions. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking appears to apply only to labeling and terminology, not the underlying technology.

"Other than new labeling regulations concerning this product, FSIS does not intend to issue any other new food safety regulations for the cell-cultured food products under its jurisdiction," the notice stated. "Current FSIS regulations requiring sanitation and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) systems are immediately applicable and sufficient to ensure the safety of products cultured from the cells of livestock and poultry."

FSIS already has received thousands of comments on the topic since its 2018 joint public meeting with FDA. But the ANPR is requesting comments on specific topics to be considered during rulemaking related to statutory and regulatory requirements for the labeling of these meat and poultry products, such as:

  • Consumer expectations about the labeling of these products, especially in light of the nutritional composition and organoleptic qualities (taste, color, odor, or texture) of the products.
  • Names for these products that would be neither false nor misleading.
  • Economic data.
  • Any consumer research related to labeling nomenclature for products made using animal cell culture technology.

There is a 60-day period for comment on the ANPR, with a deadline of about Nov. 1. For more information and to comment or submit information, see

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