On October 23rd and 24th, a joint USDA/FDA meeting was held at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Building in Washington DC to provide a public forum to discuss regulatory concerns and to comment on the new technology of Cell Culture products derived from Livestock and Poultry. Discussed were potential hazards, oversight considerations and labeling on products derived from this new technology. FSIS (USDA) and FDA each reviewed their current regulatory oversight, inspection and compliance protocols, and label review processes.
A brief overview of the Cell Cultured Technology was provided by Leah Switz from FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. Animal cell culture food technology was defined as “the controlled growth of animal cells from livestock, poultry, fish, and other animals, their subsequent differentiation into various cell types, and their collection and processing into food”.
Oral comments were taken at various points throughout the meeting. Comments were provided by academic, consumer groups, companies which are currently producing and processing meat, poultry and seafood in a traditional manner as well as companies that are developing cell cultured processes and capacity. All agreed that the technology is developing quickly and that the traditional views and definitions of meats may need to be revisited.
AFDO is putting together a webinar in early 2019 to provide more information about the technology and potential challenges surrounding the cell cultured livestock and poultry.