The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) will highlight the food safety and product labeling expertise of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) during a two-day public meeting on lab-grown fake meat. The public meeting, hosted jointly by USDA and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), takes place October 23-24. The meeting agenda lists a wide range of topics for consideration, including potential production hazards, food labeling, and marketing claims.
NCBA President Kevin Kester and President-Elect Jennifer Houston are scheduled to deliver remarks during the open comment periods of the session. Houston will explain why USDA is well-positioned to apply current food safety processes to lab-grown fake meat products. Two-thirds of the facilities already overseen by USDA are “processing-only” facilities where harvesting of animals does not take place.
“Ensuring lab-grown fake meat products are subject to strong, daily inspection by USDA’s trained professionals is essential,” she said. “The health of consumers is on the line, and USDA is far better suited to ensure the safety of lab-grown products.”
Kester will focus his comments on how USDA oversight provides protects consumers against false and misleading marketing claims.
“USDA can be trusted to enforce truthful, transparent labeling of the products under its jurisdiction,” he said. “Beef producers welcome competition, but product labels and marketing must be based on sound science, not the misleading claims of anti-animal agriculture activists.”