WASHINGTON – Cultured meat company Memphis Meats and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) sent a letter to the White House on Aug. 23 requesting a combined meeting between government agencies and conventional and cell-based meat and poultry stakeholders to determine regulatory structures.
Each group asked that the White House, the US Dept. of Agriculture and the US Food and Drug Administration all be involved with the meeting.
“To ensure the regulatory system protects consumers while fostering innovation, it is imperative that the agencies coordinate and collaborate in their efforts, consistent with established policy,” the letter said.
Both NAMI and Memphis Meats expressed the need for the USDA and FDA to have oversight into pre-market safety evaluations into the new cell-based products.
The letter also suggested the establishment of an agreed upon terminology for the new category of products.
“Cell-based meat products are meat produced from animal cells in cell culture,” the letter said. “They are an ‘and,’ not an ‘or,’ solution, and the latest in a long history of innovation in American agriculture. Recognizing a shared desire to support innovation and feed the world, moving forward we will use the term ‘cell-based meat and poultry’ to describe the products that are the result of animal cell culture.”
NAMI CEO Barry Carpenter and Memphis Meats CEO Uma Valeti signed the letter.
In July, the National Cattle National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), spoke out at a public meeting to advocate for USDA oversight of foods produced using animal cell culture technology.