Memphis Meats, a developer of lab-grown meat products, and the North American Meat Institute have written a letter to President Trump requesting a clarification of the regulatory framework for cell-based meat and poultry products. The two entities are calling for the FDA and USDA to coordinate and collaborate their efforts.

The letter reads, in part:

“As leaders and partners in meeting the world’s protein needs, we know that largescale production methods, small-scale farming, and cell-based meat and poultry production methods will all play a role. Cell-based meat products are meat produced from animal cells in cell culture. They are an “and,” not an “or,” solution, and the latest in a long history of innovation in American agriculture. Recognizing a shared desire to support innovation and feed the world, moving forward we will use the term “cell-based meat and poultry” to describe the products that are the result of animal cell culture.

“As is the case for other new or novel foods or food ingredients, including those made from or otherwise used in meat and poultry products, FDA should have oversight over pre-market safety evaluations for cell-based meat and poultry products. Historically, for evaluations relating to meat or poultry products, USDA has provided input to FDA as part of this process. Given USDA’s expertise in regulating meat and poultry, that role should continue. After pre-market safety has been established with FDA, USDA should regulate cell-based meat and poultry products, as it does with all other meat and poultry products, applying relevant findings from FDA’s safety evaluation to ensure products are safe, wholesome, and properly labeled.

“Such a regulatory framework is not new and plays into the strengths and experience of FDA and USDA: FDA has extensive expertise regarding products produced using cell culture technology and USDA has a longstanding role in inspecting meat and poultry products. We nonetheless understand that decisions made regarding a regulatory framework must be made with the input of all stakeholders.”

The letter, co-signed by Uma Valeti, co-founder and CEO of Memphis Meats, and Barry Carpenter, president and CEO of NAMI, requests a meeting between the White House, USDA, FDA and conventional and cell-based meat and poultry industry shareholders.

The letter can be read in its entirety here.

Source: NAMI, Memphis Meats