The National Chicken Council (NCC) recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), stating its emphasis on the importance of coordinating regulatory efforts between the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and FSIS to leverage each agency’s knowledge and expertise on the subject of cell-cultured meat products.
“While FSIS has the statutory authority, relevant experience, and robust regulatory frameworks to regulate the labeling and safety of these products, FDA also may have appropriate expertise to fill a role within a comprehensive regulatory framework,” Ashley Peterson, PhD, senior vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, wrote. “We recognize that FDA has long played a role in ensuring that ingredients used in meat and poultry products are safe for use in food through FDA’s authority over food additive safety.
“Additionally, NCC recognizes that FDA has experience with similar food production technologies, such as microbial, algal, and fungal cells generated by large-scale culture and used as direct food ingredients. This may lend itself to FDA addressing the technical safety of the cell-culturing technology used to create cell-cultured meat products and to determine whether the results of this technology are or are not approved food additives. It may be appropriate that shared regulatory jurisdiction draw on both FDA’s and FSIS’s respective expertise.”
Peterson further wrote that NCC ultimately believes that the following four core tenets are essential for ensuring that cell-cultured meat products are marketed in a safe, orderly, and truthful manner for consumers:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) should regulate the labeling and safety of these products.
- It is not appropriate to refer to these products using terms such as “clean meat,” nor should these products be named or described in a way that disparages conventional animal proteins.
- These products should be named or labeled in a manner that clearly discloses the process by which they are made.
- Claims that these products are superior to conventional animal proteins should be prohibited unless such a claim is substantiated by scientific evidence.