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USDA, FDA Call for Joint Regulation of Cell-Cultured Meat

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

(North American Meat Institute)

USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intend to jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry, according to an announcement by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. The announcement follows last month’s USDA, FDA public meeting regarding the use of cell-culture technology to develop products derived from livestock and poultry. At that meeting, the Meat Institute affirmed the Food Safety and Inspection Service should have primary jurisdiction to regulate cell-based meat products.

According to the announcement, USDA and FDA agreed on a joint regulatory framework wherein FDA oversees 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.

In response to the announcement, the Meat Institute said, “We’re pleased the agencies have initiated the steps to work together on regulating cell-based meat products and appreciate the work that USDA Secretary Perdue has put in to ensure USDA’s role in regulating these new products. We look forward to seeing more details on how these plans will be implemented and participating in that process.”

Perdue and Gottlieb also stated the Administration does not believe legislation on this topic is necessary because USDA and FDA have the statutory authority to appropriately regulate cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry. USDA and FDA extended the public comment period to December 26, 2018.

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