Farmers Union opposes labeling cell-based protein as ‘meat’ | TSLN.com

Farmers Union opposes labeling cell-based protein as ‘meat’

The National Farmers Union told the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday that cell-based protein replicated in a lab should not be labeled as meat.

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Roger Johnson

"Because of rapidly evolving technologies such as animal cell culture applications,NFU urges establishment and clarification of the standard of identity for 'meat' and related products to prevent mislabeling of food in the marketplace," wrote NFU President Roger Johnson in comments to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

"Existing labeling and marketing laws should be consistently enforced, and regulations should be updated to promote fair competition for producers and the health and safety of consumers," Johnson said.

He said that common names given to meat and animal products are widely understood by consumers to be the tissue and flesh of animals that have been slaughtered for food.

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"Foods produced using animal cell culture technology are not slaughtered, but rather are derived from animal cells grown in a petri dish and other growing media," Johnson explained. "Thus, NFU opposes labeling of foods produced using cell culture applications as 'meat' and as related products such as 'beef,' 'poultry' and 'seafood.'"

Johnson pointed out that FDA has the responsibility under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to deem a food "misbranded" if its labeling is false or misleading, if it is offered for sale under the name of another food, or if it is an imitation of another food.

"Labeling foods produced using animal cell culture technology as "meat" and other related products is false and misleading," he said.

–The Hagstrom Report