Beef industry focuses on 'fake meat'

by MEAT+POULTRY Staff
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The US Cattlemen's Association has petitioned USDA to exclude alternative proteins from definition of "beef" and "meat."
 
WASHINGTON – 
The beef industry has committed to addressing “fake meat” as a priority for 2018.

The US Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) recently petitioned the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the US Dept. of Agriculture to implement labeling requirements that would exclude products not derived from animals from the definition of “beef” and “meat.”

“USCA requests that FSIS limit the definition of beef to product from cattle born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner,” the petition stated. “Specifically, FSIS should require that any product labeled as “beef” come from cattle that have been born, raised, and harvested in the traditional manner, rather than coming from alternative sources such as a synthetic product from plant, insects, or other non-animal components and any product grown in labs from animal cells.”

The petition also seeks to limit the broader definition of “meat” to animal flesh or tissues harvested in a traditional manner. This would similarly prohibit product from alternative sources such as a synthetic product from plant, insects, or other non-animal components and any product grown in labs from animal cells from being labeled as “meat,” according to the petition.

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) also announced the organization will work to protect “…the industry and consumers from fake meat and misleading labels on products that do not contain real beef.” Incoming NCBA President Kevin Kester said in a statement that 2018 is no time to “take a break.”

“We’re going to continue to ensure fair access to foreign markets, fight against unnecessary regulation, make sure the Farm Bill addresses our needs, and guarantee that consumers have the ability to purchase a safe, healthy, and accurately labeled protein source,” he said.

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