State ag officials advocate for "clear labeling" for cell-based meat products
Cheyenne, WY - Members of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) recently advocated for standards that ensure clear and consistent labeling for cell-based meat products, also referred to as 'cultured meat.'
Pasta dish with Good Meat's "Cultivated Chicken" lab-grown chicken meat. Photo credit: Jpatokal
NASDA members urged the establishment of regulatory frameworks for distinguished labeling of cell-based meat, poultry, and seafood products and encouraged the U.S. Department of Agriculture, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration to analyze the cellular and nutritional properties of these products and indicate the differences, via labeling, between cell-based and conventional products.
"NASDA members are responsible for ensuring agricultural businesses of all sizes and types can thrive, and we have learned, especially through the pandemic, the importance of diversity in agricultural production. Equally important, clarity and consumer confidence in ingredients and labeling must always be upheld, which is the goal of the action item adopted today," NASDA CEO Ted McKinney said. "NASDA encourages federal agencies to discuss and consider regulatory frameworks for these innovative products which accurately reflect differences between them and conventionally raised products."
In March 2019, USDA and FDA established a formal agreement on how cultured food products would be regulated. In June 2023, the organizations issued the first Grants of Inspection and label approvals to two companies to sell cell-based chicken.
"NASDA members stand ready to work collaboratively with federal agencies on cell-based meat labeling requirements to ensure shoppers can have confidence in what they buy at the grocery store," McKinney said.