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Our Views

Our Views Columns

Date: 3/1/2019

Title: Consumers, Producers Still Waiting for #FakeMeatFacts

While NCBA continues to call for more clarity on the production and safety of lab-grown fake meat, lawmakers in Congress have questions of their own. At a recent hearing featuring Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt (R-AL) asked the Commissioner for more details on the timing and content of the forthcoming regulatory framework.

Gottlieb noted that the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) were close to finalizing a detailed agreement on how to regulate emerging lab-grown protein products, but he did not say whether USDA veterinarians would be involved in the collection of cells from living animals. The latter point is just one of many that have yet to be addressed by FDA and USDA.

When the detailed regulatory framework is released, consumers and producers will be watching closely to see if critical questions raised by NCBA are adequately addressed. However, in the absence of more information from lab-grown fake meat manufacturers, the federal government can only go so far. A host of unknowns about the manufacturing process – from antibiotic use to environmental impact – remain. Plus, independent scientists have still not evaluated any samples of lab-grown products. USDA and FDA should insist they get all the #FakeMeatFacts before finalizing the regulatory framework.