Cell-cultured protein: a letter to Trump from US meat and poultry groups

USA - In a letter addressed directly to President Trump, seven meat and poultry organisations petition him to level the playing field for animal-derived and lab-grown meats
calendar icon 27 July 2018
clock icon 3 minute read

In the letter, the groups outline the rigorous standards to which they must adhere in the production of animal meat and ask that cell-cultured meat be held to the same standards.

The letter details a recent meeting at which the FDA, excluding the USDA, "asserted itself as the primary regulator of cell-cultured products."

The signees describe the integral role of the USDA in animal protein regulation and assert that the FDA should not solely be responsible for ensuring the safety and quality of cell-cultured protein, especially given that "it is not only inconsistent with the meat and poultry inspection statutes, but also with the White House's reorganization plan."

The organisations which put their name to the letter include:

  • American Farm Bureau Federation
  • American Sheep Industry Association
  • National Cattlemen's Beef Association
  • National Chicken Council
  • National Pork Producers Council
  • National Turkey Federation
  • North American Meat Institute

The Good Food Institute (GFI) was quick to respond to this letter and issued a statement. Defending the FDA, they indicate that the regulatory body has the "expertise necessary to provide adequate oversight of clean meat," noting that incorporating the USDA as well would be costly.

They do, however, note that they will stand by whichever of the two entities are, in the end, responsible for the quality assurance and regulation of cell-cultured meat.

The Spoon points out that this letter surfaces "at a time when the United States is sitting on 2.5 billion pounds of excess meat chilling in cold storage as a result of retaliatory tarrifs from other US meat importing countries."

Ryan Johnson

Editor at The Poultry Site

Ryan worked in conservation from 2008 to 2017, during which time he operated a rainbow trout hatchery and helped to maintain public and protected green spaces in Canada for the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. As editor of The Poultry Site, he now writes about challenges and opportunities in agriculture across the globe.

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