Clean meat definition top of US beef producer priorities

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

USCA is concerned that consumers may be confused about the growth of 'clean meat'
USCA is concerned that consumers may be confused about the growth of 'clean meat'

Related tags: International trade, Fsis

US beef trade bodies have targeted ‘clean meat’ and its perceived threat to the industry.

The United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) has petitioned the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to “exclude products not derived directly from animals raised and slaughtered from the definition of ‘beef’ and ‘meat’”​.

In its petition to FSIS, the USCA said it had “long advocated for additional beef labelling requirements to better inform consumers” ​and pointed out: “There are currently no labelling requirements applicable to products labelled as ‘beef’ or more broadly as ‘meat’ mandated by law.”

It said: “USCA has learned that some major US meatpackers and companies in other countries are investing heavily in creating alternative products that may resemble in appearance and taste beef products, including synthetic ‘beef’ and ‘beef’ grown in laboratories using animal cells, known as ‘in vitro’ meat, ‘bio meat’, ‘clean meat’ or ‘cultured meat’. Such products, which are not derived from animals born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner, should not be permitted to be marketed as ‘beef’, or more broadly as ‘meat’ products.”

USCA requested that FSIS limit the definition of beef to products from cattle born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner and it should require that any product labelled as “beef” come from cattle that have been born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner, rather than coming from alternative sources, such as a synthetic product from plant, insects or other non-animal components and any product grown in labs from animal cells.

It argued that current labelling practices may cause consumer confusion in the marketplace.

A FSIS spokesperson said it will “review the petition which was submitted by the USCA and that the Agency will respond accordingly once all information has been reviewed”​.

Fellow trade body the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has made the “protection of our industry and consumers from fake meat and misleading labels​” one of its priorities for 2018.

Other 2018 policy priorities from the NCBA included the protection of market access under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Korea-US Trade Agreement; the securing of Animal Drug User Free Act reauthorisation; a permanent solution to electronic logging devices; and full funding for a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine bank.

Related topics: Products, United States, Beef

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Faux Meat has its place

Posted by D Humphrey,

Chris it is true the younger generation has a heart for an animal that is specifically born. raised and slaughtered for food. But I have found they are more concerned with the way it was born, raised and slaughtered. They want humanely raised animals that have not been given hormones or antibiotics and slaughtered in a ethical manner. The beef industry has made large strides in attaining these these goals with an enormous expense that has raised the price of beef for everyone. You are misinformed when making your pathetic attempt comment about the realities of the meat business. They are working to meet the needs of everyone not just your crowd of people who prefer a plant based meat by product.

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Posted by Chuck Jolley,

Chris, in the interest of being completely honest, let's admit the product you espouse is plant-based and/or lab grown analogs attempting to imitate the real thing. It is, by definition, heavily processed and it's long term impact on health is yet to be determined.

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Time (Gentlemen?) Please

Posted by Chris,

Which versions of clean meat have you tried so far? Or is this really just another glib comment from someone who can't see very far into the future. Why do you think the big meat companies are investing so much in clean meat. It's coming - and the younger generation will reject all products from the current "processing plants".
Incidentally - it's also dishonest to refer to animals being "harvested" - but, like "processing plants" and "meat factories", its just a pathetic attempt to sanitize and disguise the realities of the meat business.

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