Aderholt: It’s too early to comment on USDA, FDA plan on cell-based meat | TSLN.com

Aderholt: It’s too early to comment on USDA, FDA plan on cell-based meat

A spokesman for House Agriculture Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Aderholt, R-Ala., said over weekend that it is "too early for us to respond just yet" to a decision by the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration to decide on a plan to share jurisdiction over the production of cell-cultured food products.

The question of whether USDA or the FDA should have primary control over cell-cultured protein, also known as "clean meat" or "fake meat," depending on which group is discussing the subject, is an issue in the finalization of the fiscal year 2019 Agriculture appropriations bill that Congress is expected to act on by December 7 when current funding expires.

"Because our agencies have the statutory authority necessary to appropriately regulate cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry the Administration does not believe that legislation on this topic is necessary," Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a joint statement.

"After several thoughtful discussions between our two agencies that incorporated this stakeholder feedback, we have concluded that both the USDA and the FDA should jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry," Perdue and Gottlieb said in their joint release Friday.

"Drawing on the expertise of both USDA and FDA, the agencies are today announcing agreement on a joint regulatory framework wherein FDA oversees cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation," the two agencies said in the joint release.

"A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. And, the agencies are actively refining the technical details of the framework, including robust collaboration and information sharing between the agencies to allow each to carry out our respective roles."

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Cattle groups have disagreed on which agency should have joint jurisdiction.

–The Hagstrom Report