FDA, USDA tackle lab-grown meat label regulations at joint agency conference

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Image: Victor de Schwanberg/Science Photo Library

[Ocotber 24 was] Day 2 of the joint USDA-FDA public meeting on cell-based meat — or whatever we end up calling it — and [the] agenda [was] all about labeling, a crucial topic as supporters and critics of the burgeoning sector try to shape consumer perception.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb vowed to work together, and work fast, to divvy up regulatory responsibility between the two agencies. Perdue said additional interagency meetings were on tap, and he suggested a regulatory framework might come together in relatively short order — as in, next year. “If we can get this done in 2019, I think that’d be probably pretty fast for federal purposes,” he told reporters outside the meeting ….

The public display of unity between FDA and USDA is widely viewed as promising, but it remains to be seen where the line will get drawn between the two agencies, even after a handful of tense interagency meetings about the issue.

Related article:  USDA organic farming standards 'loophole' may threaten rainforests

Memphis Meats, a major player in the cell-based protein space, reiterated its call for [the] FDA [to take] the lead on pre-market safety of products and USDA [to oversee] production and further processing …. “We are encouraged by the joint effort between USDA and FDA, in clarifying how both agencies would be involved in regulating cell-based meat,” said Eric Schulze, the group’s vice president of product and regulation, during the public comment period.

Read full, original article: Cell-based meat summit, Day 2

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