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Meat Institute Testifies at Cell-based Meat Public Meeting

Friday, October 26, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

The Meat Institute last week participated in a public meeting hosted jointly by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regarding the use of cell-culture technology to develop products derived from livestock and poultry. In oral testimony , Senior Vice President of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs Mark Dopp affirmed FSIS should have primary jurisdiction to regulate cell-based meat products.

"That the inspection system FSIS administers is more rigorous than the one administered by FDA is undeniable. Administration officials have said as much. But I am baffled why those who advocate that FDA should have primary jurisdiction over cell-based meat products want to deny those companies the benefits of FSIS inspection," Dopp said.

Dopp also detailed the importance and benefits of USDA's label approval process, which protects companies from frivolous lawsuits and gives consumers confidence that products are accurately labeled and not represented to be something they are not.

He shared examples of FDA-regulated plant-based products, which are represented on the package as sausage products, but contain no meat. Based not only on USDA's standards, but also on commonsense, Dopp argued the products are misbranded.

The Meat Institute will also provide detailed written comments to the agencies in response to many of the questions posed at the meeting.

The first day of the meeting focused primarily on the potential hazards associated with the production of animal cell-cultured food products and oversight considerations by regulatory agencies, whereas the second day addressed labeling considerations. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb vowed to work together to determine a policy framework and oversight roles of each agency.

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