Cell-cultivated chicken is officially part of the U.S. food system after a landmark approval by USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on June 21 that granted two companies the go-ahead to sell their lab-grown cell-cultivated chicken products in the United States.
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) issued grants to Upside Foods and Good Meat, which have both successfully completed FDA’s pre-market consultation process for cell-cultured food products, and issued a grant of inspection to Joinn Biologics, a production facility affiliated with Good Meat.
“FSIS has issued the first three grants of inspection to establishments producing FSIS-regulated products derived from animal cells,” a spokesperson for FSIS tells Food Quality & Safety. “FSIS has also reviewed and approved the labels for their products to ensure that they are truthful and not misleading. After an establishment receives a grant of inspection, FSIS conducts inspection activities at the facility at least once per shift to verify the production of safe and properly labeled product.”
Both companies are planning to debut their products with celebrity chefs at popular restaurants in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.
In November 2022, Upside Foods received a “No Questions” letter from FDA signaling that its cultivated chicken was safe to eat, so this next step was expected. “USDA’s approval of our label marks a major step forward toward our goal of creating a more humane and sustainable food system,” Uma Valeti, CEO and founder of Upside Foods, said in a company statement.
Good Meat also received a “No Questions” letter from FDA earlier this year, paving the way for this announcement. Before USDA’s decision, cultivated meat was only allowed for human consumption in Singapore, and was produced and sold by Good Meat.