Mark the date: November 16, 2018 was the day that clean/cell-based meat’s path to market became much clearer in the United States. On that day, the FDA and USDA announced details of how they will oversee clean/cell-based meat from cows, pigs, chickens, and turkeys. The statement says in part:
[W]e have concluded that both the USDA and the FDA should jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry. … USDA and FDA are confident that this regulatory framework can be successfully implemented and assure the safety of these products. Because our agencies have the statutory authority necessary to appropriately regulate cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry the Administration does not believe that legislation on this topic is necessary.
GFI’s Director of Policy Jessica Almy, Esq., issued the following statement in support of this path forward:
American consumers deserve a wide array of healthy, humane, and sustainable choices. That’s why cell-based meat deserves a clear regulatory path to market, as called for by the National Academy of Sciences. This announcement is an exciting indication that FDA and USDA are clearing the way for a transparent and predictable regulatory path forward.
We are pleased that Secretary Perdue and Commissioner Gottlieb are so swiftly moving forward on cell-based meat and that they are aware of the importance of this industry to the U.S. economy. The governments of Israel, Japan, and Singapore have already signaled significant interest in this important food technology, and so we share FDA’s and USDA’s commitment to ensuring a clear regulatory path forward for cell-based meat as quickly as possible.
We agree with Secretary Perdue and Commissioner Gottlieb that no new laws or regulations are necessary, and we look forward to working with the agencies on their guidance to the cell-based meat industry under the current regulatory framework.
We are confident that together the USDA and FDA will ensure that cell-based meat and poultry are safe for consumers and appropriately labeled. We look forward to the day in the not-so-distant future when American families will be sitting down to a dinner of meat made directly from cells, courtesy of this new industry that Commissioner Gottlieb and Secretary Perdue helped make possible.