FDA and USDA announce production of lab-grown meat
©Amaru Sanchez/FDII

FDA and USDA announce production of lab-grown meat

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Friday announced the commencement of production of lab-grown meat in the US.

“The Agencies are today announcing agreement on a joint regulatory framework,” sais the release, “wherein FDA oversees cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.”

Lab-grown meat, also called “cultured” or “in vitro” meat, has several ethical consequences and some nations block its production “for the good of the people.” Animal-rights groups generally support the measure because it prevents the harm of actual livestock.

The Food and Drug Law Institute announced that cultured meat is able to be produced because it met the following FDA criteria:

  1. The use of the substance must meet the same safety standard as a food additive: there must be a reasonable certainty of no harm under the conditions of its
    intended use; and
  2. The use of the substance must meet the general recognition standard: the intended use of the substance in food must be recognized as safe by qualified experts based on publicly available scientific information.

The regulatory framework for cell-culture meat is currently in production, and the meat is not expected to hit the market for at least another year.