Two government agencies will team up to regulate the emerging market of lab-grown meat, the Trump administration announced [March 7].
The Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service will share the regulation of the products, which scientists create by multiplying animal cells to mimic traditional chicken, pork, beef, and fish. The foods will need to be reviewed and approved by both agencies before they are allowed to hit grocery stores.
Under the agreement, FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth. The USDA will then take it from there to oversee how the food is produced and how it is labeled. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who is leaving his post in a month, uses the term “cell-cultured foods” to describe the products. The latest regulation is one he will have seen to completion before he steps down from his role.
Safety regulations for cell-based foods have yet to be issued, but they are likely to include standards about how to grow the tissue, how to sign off on its safety, and how to label it in a way that consumers know what they’re buying.
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