FSIS extends comment period on the labeling of lab-grown meat and poultry products

FSIS extends comment period on the labeling of lab-grown meat and poultry products

by Sue Jones
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The USDA’s  Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has extended the public comment period on an advance notice of a proposed rulemaking regarding labeling of lab-grown meat and poultry products made by using cultured cells derived from animals under FSIS jurisdiction.

Having received several stakeholder requests to extend the comment period, the agency has decided to extend it by an additional 30 days. The comment period will now end on Dec. 2, 2021, for the advanced notice of proposed rulemaking, which was published on Sept. 2.

The FSIS says that this extension should provide interested stakeholders sufficient time to submit comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products comprised of or containing cultured cells derived from amenable livestock and poultry. The public will also have an additional opportunity to comment on these issues during the future rulemaking process. 

“This ANPR (Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) is an important step forward in ensuring the appropriate labeling of meat and poultry products made using animal cell culture technology,” said USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin. “We want to hear from stakeholders (including the public) and will consider their comments as we work on a proposed regulation for labeling these products.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration reached a formal agreement on March 7, 2019, to jointly oversee the production of human food products made using “animal cell culture technology” 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, the FDA will oversee cell collection, growth and differentiation of cells. The FDA will transfer oversight at the cell harvest stage to FSIS. The 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.

The request for comments on specific topics to be considered during rulemaking related to statutory and regulatory requirements for the labeling of these meat and poultry products are: 

  • Consumer expectations about the labeling of these products, especially in light of the nutritional composition and organoleptic qualities of taste, color, odor or texture of the products 
  • Names for these products that would be neither false nor misleading
  • Economic data
  • Any consumer research related to labeling nomenclature for products made using animal cell culture technology

For more information, view the Sept. 3, 2021 Constituent Update. To view the ANPR and for details on how to comment or submit information, visit the FSIS website.

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