The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is requesting comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using cultured cells derived from animals under FSIS jurisdiction. FSIS will use these comments to inform future regulatory requirements for the labeling of cell-cultured meat and poultry.
FSIS already has received thousands of comments on the topic in response to a 2018 joint public meeting with FDA and regarding two petitions for rulemaking (from the United States Cattlemen’s Association and Harvard Law School Animal Law and Policy Clinic). The agency, however, needs specific types of comments and information that will inform the process of developing labeling regulations for these products, including consumer expectations about the labeling of these products, especially in light of the nutritional composition and organoleptic qualities (taste, color, odor, or texture) of the products; names for these products that are neither false nor misleading; economic data; and any consumer research related to labeling nomenclature for products made using animal cell-culture technology.
In March 2019, USDA and FDA announced a formal agreement to jointly oversee the production of human food products made using cell-cultured meat technology and derived from the cells of livestock and poultry to ensure that such products brought to market are safe, unadulterated, and truthfully labeled. Under the agreement, FDA will oversee cell collection, growth, and differentiation of cells. FDA will transfer oversight at the cell harvest stage to FSIS. FSIS will then oversee the cell harvest, processing, packaging, and labeling of products. FDA and FSIS also agreed to develop joint principles for the labeling of products made using cell culture technology under their respective labeling jurisdictions. Seafood, other than Siluriformes fish, falls under FDA’s jurisdiction, whereas meat, including Siluriformes fish, and poultry are under FSIS jurisdiction.
Other than new labeling regulations concerning cell-cultured meat, FSIS does not intend to issue any other new food safety regulations for the cell-cultured food products under its jurisdiction. Current FSIS regulations requiring sanitation and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point systems are immediately applicable and sufficient to ensure the safety of products cultured from the cells of livestock and poultry.
To comment or submit information, visit the FSIS website. The comment period closes on November 2, 2021.