Sombke: Prime Rib from a Petri Dish? | TSLN.com

Sombke: Prime Rib from a Petri Dish?

Doug Sombke
S.D. Farmers Union President

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is currently deciding whether or not to allow lab-cultured protein to be labeled as meat.

"Really?" you may ask. "This could mean that I could buy a product labeled as hamburger or steak at the grocery store and it could actually be tissue created in a lab from animal cells?"

YES!

If this idea grosses you out, or if you believe foods produced using animal cell culture technology derived from cells grown in a petri dish or other media should not be allowed to draw upon U.S. livestock producers' reputations for producing safe, nutritious and high-quality meat – then PLEASE SPEAK UP!

Visit this link: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FSIS-2018-0036-0001 and let the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) hear your thoughts.

The comment period is open until November 26, 2018.

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This deadline brings to mind an American holiday with meat at the center of the dinner table – Thanksgiving. Just think, if we don't convince the USDA for fair and honest food labeling, next year's Thanksgiving turkey may have never gobbled. We could be sharing a meal of lab-cultured goo disguised as a turkey drumstick.

All consumers have the right to know what they are purchasing and eating.

And, South Dakota's more than 15,000 livestock producers should not have to give up their market-share to a lab-cultured product, that is labeled as meat.

The definition of "meat" should be restricted to the tissue or flesh of animals that have been raised and harvested in the traditional manner.

We believe this so strongly that we're going to DC to testify before the USDA. As a grassroots organization that represents 17,000 family farmers and ranchers, many of whom raise livestock, South Dakota Farmers Union sees this as our duty. We'll testify October 24, 2018. To follow our journey, visit our South Dakota Farmers Union Facebook page.

The truth is in the labeling.