WASHINGTON – The topic of cell culture technology and the products produced from it is a controversial one throughout the industry as well as in Washington. US Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue and US Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb on Sept. 10 announced a joint public meeting Oct. 23-24 to focus on the potential hazards, oversight considerations, and labeling of cell cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry.

The public meeting will be held on Oct. 23 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Oct. 24 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Jefferson Auditorium in the USDA South Building, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC, 20250.

“This is an important opportunity to hear from the agricultural industry and consumers as we consider the regulatory framework for these new products,” Perdue said. “American farmers and ranchers feed the world, but as technology advances, we must consider how to inspect and regulate to ensure food safety, regardless of the production method.”

“The FDA knows just how vital it is to ensure the safety of our nation’s food supply and the critical role science-based, modern regulatory frameworks are to fostering innovation. Recent advances in animal cell cultured food products present many important and timely technical and regulatory considerations for the FDA and our partners at USDA,” Gottlieb said. “We look forward to the opportunity to hold a meeting with our USDA colleagues as part of an open public dialogue regarding these products.”

Representatives of industry, consumer groups and other stakeholders are invited to participate in the public meeting. The first day the meeting will cover potential hazards that need to be considered in order to safely produce animal cell cultured food products as well as oversight considerations by regulatory agencies. The second day of the meeting will focus on labeling considerations.

Attendees are encouraged to pre-register for the meeting at the Meetings and Events page on the FSIS website.

Anyone who wishes to submit written comments prior to the public meeting or after the meeting may do so by submitting comments on regulations.gov by Nov. 26. Comments previously submitted to FDA in regard to the July 12, 2018, public meeting will also be considered.