US National Chicken Council submits comments on labeling of cell-cultured meat, poultry

NCC says cell-cultured products must be marketed to clearly convey their basic nature to consumers and avoid confusion
calendar icon 10 December 2021
clock icon 3 minute read
Dr. Ashley Peterson, NCC SVP of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs
Dr. Ashley Peterson, NCC SVP of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs

The NCC said cell-cultured products must be marketed in an appropriate manner that clearly conveys their basic nature to consumers and avoids confusion between cell-cultured protein products and traditional animal protein products.

“This approach ensures a neutral playing field wherein consumers are provided truthful information about cell-cultured products so that they may make choices as they deem most appropriate,” said NCC senior vice president of Scientific and Regulatory Affairs Dr. Ashley Peterson in her submitted comments.

NCC’s position toward cell-cultured products is as follows:

  • USDA FSIS should regulate the labeling and safety of cell-cultured products
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration should regulate the technical safety of the cell-culturing technology used to create these products and determine whether the results of this technology are or are not approved food additives
  • It is not appropriate to refer to cell-cultured products using terms such as “clean meat,” nor should these products be named or described in a way that disparages conventional animal proteins
  • Cell-cultured products should be named or labeled in a manner that clearly discloses the process by which they were made
  • Claims that cell-cultured products are superior to conventional animal proteins should be prohibited unless such a claim is substantiated by scientific evidence

Regarding the labeling of these products, Peterson outlined six recommendations to the agency:

  1. FSIS should establish a codified standard of identity for these products
  2. A term such as “Cell-Cultured” should be included in the product name on the label
  3. Cell-cultured products should not be allowed to use defined parts terms, such as “wing,” “leg” or “breast”
  4. FSIS should require full sketch approval at least until the agency finalizes applicable regulations.
  5. FSIS should work with regulatory partners to ensure that retailers and restaurants also use appropriate terminology when referring to these products
  6. And, FSIS should conduct consumer research to understand how consumers view these products

NCC comments can be read in their entirety by clicking here.

NCC is the national, non-profit trade association that represents vertically integrated companies that produce and process more than 95% of the chicken marketed in the United States.

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