AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has been working to support United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversight of food safety and labeling regulations of lab-produced “fake meat.” These efforts were rewarded with a November 16 announcement from the USDA and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A joint press release from the two agencies outlined how they plan to work together with each overseeing different aspects of production.
USDA will essentially have primary jurisdiction over the most important facets of lab-produced fake meat. The FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. After cells are harvested, oversight will be transferred to the USDA. The USDA will then regulate production and labeling of fake meat products.
Prior to the November 16 announcement, ICA brought this issue to the national forefront by introducing policy at the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s convention. In October ICA board member, Bob Noble, and staff member, JanLee Rowlett, gave comments in Washington, D.C. at a joint USDA/FDA public meeting regarding fake meat. ICA is also working at the state level to reinforce the federal level work on the issue.
While shared jurisdiction over fake meat is an important step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to do on this issue to ensure that real beef producers and consumers are protected and treated fairly. ICA will continue to stay engaged on this issue. USDA and FDA are accepting public comment until December 26. ICA will submit comments, continue to keep lawmakers informed, and work with the NCBA, the Administration and Congress at every opportunity to represent Iowa’s cattlemen.
— Iowa Cattlemen’s Association
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