WASHINGTON – An advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) was published Sept. 2 by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to collect comments related to regulating the labeling of cultured meat and poultry products. The comment period is 60 days.

To ensure the safety and truthful labeling of cell-based products, joint oversight of their production for human consumption was agreed to on March 7, 2019, by the USDA and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FSIS said it previously collected thousands of comments related to the topic after a joint public meeting with FDA about two rulemaking petitions, but it is now seeking feedback specific to labeling regulations for cell-based meat and poultry products. Comments are targeting consumer perceptions of nutritional value and taste of the products as well as providing truthful names for the products and any research related to labeling of the products.

“This ANPR is an important step forward in ensuring the appropriate labeling of meat and poultry products made using animal cell culture technology,” said Sandra Eskin, USDA deputy undersecretary for food safety. “We want to hear from stakeholders and will consider their comments as we work on a proposed regulation for labeling these products.”

The announcement of the agency soliciting comments on the labeling issued was lauded by the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) and the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation.

“This is an important step in gathering information from the industry and the public to inform a labeling framework that fosters transparency, consumer confidence, and a level-playing field while also aligning with longstanding law and policy, which is why we joined forces to ask the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to take this action,” said the groups in a joint statement. “Both AMPS Innovation and NAMI thank USDA for their continued engagement on cell-cultured meat and poultry products and our organizations look forward to submitting comments to the agency soon.”  

More information about the issue and instructions about commenting are available on the FSIS website at www.fsis.usda.gov/policy/federal-register-rulemaking/federal-regster-rules.