USDA, FDA outline plan for meat from cultured cells

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cell-cultured foods, fake meat
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WASHINGTON — Call it “fake meat,” “clean meat” or “cell-cultured foods,” but lab-grown protein foods are not going away.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a formal agreement March 7 to jointly oversee the production of human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.

FSIS and FDA released a formal agreement to address the regulatory oversight of human food produced using this new cultured cell technology.

The agencies will collaborate to regulate the development and entry of these products into the market, emphasizing the safety and proper labeling of these cell-cultured human food products.

Oversight

Under the formal agreement, the FDA ill oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to FSIS oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage, and FSIS will oversee the production and labeling of human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.

Before marketing, the products will undergo inspection, as with other meat and poultry products.

Carmen Rottenberg of the USDA told the Associate Press she expects inspections to be similar to those for other meat-processing plants, but noted that a lot remains unknown since companies haven’t yet scaled up to commercial production.

New label

Rottenberg also said the agency expects a new label will be required for cell-cultured meat, meaning it likely won’t be able to simply use terms like “ground beef” or “hamburger.”

The agencies say they’ll continue working out details of how to regulate the products.

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