FDA to host meeting on cultured meat amidst fiery labelling debate
America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will host a public meeting to discuss cultured meat from a technical and regulatory perspective as debate rages over how produce from the new technology should be labelled.
CALLING A MEETING: FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and FDA Deputy Commissioner Anna Abram announced last week the public meeting entitled “Foods Produced Using Animal Cell Culture Technology” will be held on July 12 at the FDA’s head office in Maryland.
Currently, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is receiving submissions commenting on a petition submitted by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) requesting a ban on cultured meat, specifically beef, being labelled in terms suggestive of the traditional product of livestock. You can read the latest on the debate here.
The FDA’s meeting, however, is set to focus primarily on food safety, though stakeholders are being encouraged to share all kinds of information and data to provoke conversation around other areas of interest, such as labelling.
One of the complaints made about the petition on the USDA’s website, confusingly from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a separate entity entirely from the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, is that the responsibility for regulating the labelling of cultured meat would not fall to the USDA but the FDA – the petition had been submitted to the wrong organisation.
The FDA’s statement ahead of the meeting said: “Our intent is to engage in a public discussion on this evolving technology to ensure we understand and consider all aspects as we determine the FDA’s approach to these novel products.
“In addition, we plan to leverage the expertise of the FDA Science Board during their regularly scheduled meeting in October to further inform our efforts.
“As this field continues to advance, it will be important for the FDA to provide timely information to consumers and industry given the agency’s expertise and role in advancing food safety.
“The FDA is committed to working with stakeholders to foster innovation while ensuring the safety of our nation’s food supply.
“We look forward to this upcoming public meeting and the continued dialogue in gathering information and exchanging ideas about this new sector and possibilities for innovations on behalf of consumers.”