The two agencies concluded the joint agreement this week following a series of discussions over the use of livestock and poultry cells to develop cell-cultured food products.
As part of the deal, the FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks and cell growth, as well as differentiation. The USDA will be responsible for the production and labelling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.
NCBA’s senior vice president of government affairs Colin Woodall praised the move by the two agencies, but warned that there was still lots of work to do on this issue.
“This announcement that USDA would have primary jurisdiction over the most important facets of lab-produced fake meat is a step in the right direction,” said Woodall. “But there is still a lot of work to do on this issue to ensure that real beef producers and consumers are protected and treated fairly.
“We look forward to continuing our work with the Administration and Congress as this moves forward, and we continue to encourage producers to file official comments with USDA and FDA between now and 26 December.”
The NCBA had raised questions about which agency should have jurisdiction over lab-grown meat products and whether they posed food safety issues.
However, some cultured meat businesses, such as Netherlands-based Mosa Meat, are making positive forecasts about the sector, predicting to GlobalMeatNews that lab-grown meats would be sold in retailers within a decade and introduced “on a small scale” to restaurants by 2021.