US government lobbied over cell-based jurisdiction

By Aidan Fortune contact

- Last updated on GMT

Ideas for cell-based meat jurisdiction put forward
Cell-based meat outfit Memphis Meats and the US trade body North American Meat Institute (NAMI) have joined forces to lobby the government on the jurisdiction of cell-based meat products.

In a letter to President Trump, the two organisations “respectfully requested that the Administration clarify the regulatory framework for cell-based meat and poultry products, based on the existing comprehensive system that ensures US consumers enjoy the safest and most affordable food in the world”​.

It suggested that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) should have oversight over pre-market safety evaluations for cell-based meat and poultry products, with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) providing input to FDA as part of this process.

Showing collaboration, they went onto explain a new definition of meat produced from animal cells.

​As leaders and partners in meeting the world’s protein needs, we know that large-scale production methods, small-scale farming, and cell-based meat and poultry production methods will all play a role. Cell-based meat products are meat produced from animal cells in cell culture. They are an ‘and’, not an ​or​ solution, and the latest in a long history of innovation in American agriculture. Recognising a shared desire to support innovation and feed the world, moving forward we will use the term ​cell-based meat and poultry​ to describe the products that are the result of animal cell culture.

United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) president Kenny Graner also issued a statement on the matter.

​USCA was the first to take action on the emergence of lab-grown and plant-based protein alternatives at the beginning of the year by submitting our petition for rule-making to USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). We shined a spotlight on this issue, demanding companies to accurately label their products, and we are now seeing those efforts come to light.

​USCA remains concerned about the use of the term ​meat​, but the commitment to come to the table to propose solutions is a step in the right direction. USCA continues to call on everyone in the cattle industry to get involved in this dialogue.

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