USDA Asks For Comments On How Food Derived From Animal Cells Should Be Labeled

The U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a press release on Thursday asking for comments on how it should regulate labeling of meat and poultry products that are made from cultured cells derived from animals. 

The press release explained that it published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking on Thursday in order to seek public comments. The labeling requirements will be created under the jurisdiction of the Food Safety and Inspection Service, which is part of the USDA. The FSIS will use the comments provided as it creates labeling requirements for these food products. 

USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety Sandra Eskin said that the notice “is an important step forward in ensuring the appropriate labeling of meat and poultry products made using animal cell culture technology.” 

The USDA and U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that they were going to together oversee the production of food created through animal cell culture technology, and ensure that the products are safe and labeled accurately. The press release explained that both the FDA and the FSIS are overseeing separate parts of the process. 

The FISS at this point has already created regulations for sanitation and safety, and has already “received thousands of comments on the topic,” but is now specifically looking for comments on labeling regulations. It hopes to receive comments regarding consumer expectations, nutritional composition and qualities, and consumer research on nomenclature for animal cell culture products. 

In the published notice, the USDA also published a process which its FSIS intends to use for labeling before the rulemaking is completed.