Ag News

USDA approves sale of lab-grown meat

by Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau

Posted on Jul 12, 2023 at 0:00 AM

By Jay Stone, Georgia Farm Bureau

On June 21, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) approved sale of lab-grown meat in the United States by two California-based companies. 

Alameda-based GOOD Meat and Berkeley-based Upside Foods previously received “no questions” letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, indicating that the agency agrees with the companies’ assessments that their products are safe for human consumption. 

GOOD Meat, the “cultivated” meat division of food technology company Eat Just Inc., received approval from the USDA for its first poultry product, cultivated chicken, to enter interstate commerce.

The USDA has also approved the food labels for both companies’ products.

Georgia Farm Bureau supports legislation requiring proper labeling of any plant-based, cell-based or other food that is not from the flesh of an animal and banning the word “meat” in the product name to prevent misleading consumers. GFB maintains that plant-based and cell-based “fake meats” should not be able to use any labeling or advertising that depicts animal flesh meat products in a negative manner. In 2020, the Georgia General Assembly passed legislation, Senate Bill 211, that makes it illegal to represent non-animal products or non-slaughtered animal flesh as meat.

In the United States, under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), all meat and poultry sold commercially must pass inspection to ensure that it is safe, wholesome and properly labeled. The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) places inspectors in slaughterhouses and processing plants, and now will assign inspectors to the companies’ cultivated meat and poultry facilities.

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