USDA 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.

Jacqui Fatka, Policy editor

November 17, 2018

2 Min Read
USDA and FDA both to tackle cell-cultured food regulation

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.

Related:USDA, FDA hold meeting on lab-grown meat

“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.



About the Author(s)

Jacqui Fatka

Policy editor, Farm Futures

Jacqui Fatka grew up on a diversified livestock and grain farm in southwest Iowa and graduated from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications, with a minor in agriculture education, in 2003. She’s been writing for agricultural audiences ever since. In college, she interned with Wallaces Farmer and cultivated her love of ag policy during an internship with the Iowa Pork Producers Association, working in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s Capitol Hill press office. In 2003, she started full time for Farm Progress companies’ state and regional publications as the e-content editor, and became Farm Futures’ policy editor in 2004. A few years later, she began covering grain and biofuels markets for the weekly newspaper Feedstuffs. As the current policy editor for Farm Progress, she covers the ongoing developments in ag policy, trade, regulations and court rulings. Fatka also serves as the interim executive secretary-treasurer for the North American Agricultural Journalists. She lives on a small acreage in central Ohio with her husband and three children.

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