2018 was a breakthrough year for official recognition of clean meat’s potential at the highest level. From testimony on Capitol Hill to hearings at the FDA to a multi-day USDA / FDA public meeting, the U.S. government has taken notice of the importance of cell-based meat. GFI has been there at every step — and in the pages of Newsweek and The Hill — to make the case for a fair and clear path forward for this better way of producing meat.
A coalition of seven clean meat companies joined GFI in submitting our official comment to the FDA and USDA. Together with Avant Meats, BlueNalu, Finless Foods, Mosa Meat, New Age Meats, Seafuture, and SuperMeat, we lay out the need for clear and fair regulatory structures regarding “Use of Cellular Agriculture to Manufacture Products Derived from Livestock and Poultry Stem Cells.”
We aren’t the only ones who recognize the importance of getting this right. As Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue observed to reporters in November, “We don’t want this new technology to feel like they’ve got to go offshore or outside the United States to get a fair regulatory protocol.”
How to best provide fair regulation is the essence of our comment, as summarized by GFI’s Director of Policy Jessica Almy, Esq.: “The current USDA and FDA regulatory framework can provide clear and fair oversight of cell-cultured meat and poultry, allowing clean meat companies to bring their products to market in the United States. This is exciting for consumers who are eager to try meat that’s created without raising and slaughtering animals.”
GFI’s Senior Regulatory Specialist Elan Abrell, Ph.D., J.D., noted to the media that the FDA has the expertise to oversee premarket safety evaluations of clean meat: “The production of cell-cultured meat will be similar to applications currently under FDA oversight. The FDA already has well-established tests for detecting any potential hazards.”
Furthermore, Elan pointed out, “Cell-cultured products won’t have any of the hazards associated with slaughter, such as fecal pathogens,” and will present at most no more hazards than those encountered in a conventional meat processing and packaging facility. Thus inspections can be safely conducted in the same manner and with the same frequency as other facilities under FDA or USDA oversight.
Jessica underscored the importance of clear and honest labels: “Cell-cultured meat products should be required to use the same nomenclature as their conventional counterparts. This will ensure people know exactly what they’re buying, especially if they have allergies. These companies should also be allowed to make additional claims (e.g., ‘antibiotic-free’ or ‘slaughter-free’) as long as these claims are supported by scientific evidence.”
Discover how we can ensure consumers have the opportunity to choose cell-based meat in the full comment.