USDA and FDA both to tackle cell-cultured food regulationUSDA and FDA both to tackle cell-cultured food regulation
FDA will oversee cell collection and growth and USDA will oversee production and labeling of food products.
November 17, 2018
Drawing on the expertise of both the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the agencies announced Nov. 16 an agreement on a joint regulatory framework for overseeing the use of livestock and poultry cell lines to develop cell-cultured food products.
A number of U.S. cell-cultured meat companies are developing products that some believe could be sold within three years in certain markets and widely available in 10 years.
The joint statement noted FDA plans to oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.
The agencies said they are actively refining the technical details of the framework, including robust collaboration and information sharing between the agencies to allow each to carry out our respective roles.
The announcement comes after a joint public meeting held last month discussing the use of livestock and poultry cell lines to develop cell-cultured food products. At this meeting, stakeholders shared perspectives on the regulation needed to both foster these innovative food products and maintain the highest standards of public health. The public comment period will be extended and will remain open through December 26, 2018, FDA and USDA said.
“This regulatory framework will leverage both the FDA’s experience regulating cell-culture technology and living biosystems and the USDA’s expertise in regulating livestock and poultry products for human consumption,” FDA and USDA said. “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.”
Some in the meat industry, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Assn., are supporting a provision in a draft FY19 spending bill that would solidify U.S. Department of Agriculture oversight for lab-grown “fake meat” products.
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