USDA accepting comments on labeling of meat made from cultured animal cells

September 2, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is accepting comments on the labeling of lab-grown meat made using cultured cells derived from animals.

The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration first agreed to oversee the production of human food products made using animal cell culture technology derived from livestock and poultry animal cells in 2019.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service oversees meat, poultry and fish created using the animal cells.

The meat is estimated to use 40% less energy, 99% less land, 90% less water and produce 85% less greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the potential advantages, a debate exists about how the cell-cultured meat should be labeled, with some arguing that the meat should be identified as lab-grown to avoid consumer confusion and others saying that there is little difference between the lab-grown meat and traditionally raised meats.

The USDA said the products are safe to eat, but it is seeking comments about the labeling of the products, including nutritional composition; taste, color and odor qualities; names for the products that would not be false or misleading; economic data; and any consumer research related to labeling nomenclature for the products.

There is a 60-day period for comment on the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

Comments can be made online or through mail at Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Mailstop 3758, Washington, DC 20250-3700.

USDA accepting comments on labeling of meat made from cultured animal cells