WASHINGTON – Today National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Director of Government Affairs Danielle Beck issued the following statement in response to the Food and Drug Administration’s announcement that they will hold a public meeting on foods produced using animal cell culture technology:
“NCBA looks forward to participating fully in the public meeting, and will use the opportunity to advocate for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) oversight of lab-grown fake meat products. The Food and Drug Administration’s announcement disregards the authorities granted to USDA under the Federal Meat Inspection Act, as well as USDA’s significant scientific expertise and long-standing success in ensuring the safety of all meat and poultry products. Under the current regulatory framework, FDA plays an important role in terms of ensuring the safety of food additives used in meat, poultry, and egg products. All additives are initially evaluated for safety by FDA, but ultimately FSIS maintains primary jurisdiction.”
According to the FDA, the public meeting is intended to provide interested parties and the public with an opportunity to comment on emerging lab-grown protein technology. The public meeting is not a formal decision and will not prevent USDA from asserting primary jurisdiction.
USDA oversight of lab-grown protein products is consistent with existing federal laws. Lab-grown protein products fall within statutory definitions of a meat byproduct. USDA is responsible for ensuring the safety and proper labeling of all such products under the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).
JEFFERSON CITY, MISSOURI – An omnibus bill, sponsored by Sen. Brian Munzlinger (R-18), passed with a bipartisan 125-22 vote. The legislation, SB 627, carried in the House by Rep. Jay Houghton (R-43), contains several provisions including SB 977, sponsored by Sen. Sandy Crawford (R-28), which is identical to HB 2607 led in the House by Rep. Jeff Knight (R-129). The language prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that was not derived from harvested livestock. The legislation comes at a time when laboratory grown meat is being debated throughout the country and in Washington. D.C.
Missouri became the first state to address the issue with legislation, sending a signal to other states to follow suit. Missouri Cattlemen’s Association (MCA) Executive Vice President Mike Deering expects other state cattle organizations to lead legislation in their respective state.
“This isn’t a Missouri issue. This is about protecting the integrity of the products that farm and ranch families throughout the country work hard to raise each and every day,” said Deering. “I never imagined we would be fighting over what is and isn’t meat. It seems silly. However, this is very real and I cannot stress enough the importance of this issue. We are beyond pleased to see this priority legislation cross the finish-line.”
The current definition of meat in Missouri Statutes is: “any edible portion of livestock or poultry carcass or part thereof.” This definition certainly excludes plant-based or even laboratory grown food products from being considered meat. Deering said the problem is there is nothing definitive in state statute to prevent the misrepresentation of these products as meat. The legislation that will now be sent to the Governor for consideration prohibits “misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry.” Deering said the association does not oppose plant-based or laboratory grown food products.
“This legislation does not stifle technology, but it does ensure the integrity of our meat supply and reduces consumer confusion. We must ensure that those products do not mislead consumers into thinking those products are actually meat produced by farm and ranch families,” said Deering. “The use of traditional nomenclature on alternative products is confusing to consumers and weakens the value of products derived from actual livestock production.”
The passage of the legislation follows a vote by the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, May 16, 2018, supporting regulatory oversight of lab-grown meat substitutes by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). MCA and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association believe USDA is best-placed to ensure food safety and accurate labeling of these products.
DES MOINES, IOWA – For the first time in more than 20 years, the world’s premier gathering of red meat industry leaders is coming to the United States, and the Pork Checkoff is a major sponsor of the event. Hosted by the International Meat Secretariat (IMS) and the U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the 22nd World Meat Congress will be held in Dallas May 30-June 1, 2018.
“We are excited to be a major sponsor of the 2018 World Meat Congress,” said Bill Luckey, chair of the Checkoff’s international marketing committee and a pig farmer from Columbus, Nebraska. “This conference provides a historic opportunity to gather critical insights and showcase the superiority of U.S. pork production to key international customers.”
During the World Meat Congress, U.S. pork will be featured in the following ways:
- Prominently featured in several meals, including the opening reception and a pork-themed luncheon;
- A booth where Pork Checkoff staff will feature the quality of U.S. pork and share the We Care® and sustainability story of U.S. pig farmers; and
- Keynote speakers chosen by Checkoff and USMEF leadership to discuss emerging issues.
“Exports will continue to play an important role in producer profitability during 2018, and offer the ability of our industry to sustainably grow in the future. As a significant World Meat Congress sponsor, we will build critical relationships that help us articulate key strategies to define new export markets and grow pork demand in existing ones,” said Luckey.
According to USMEF, the World Meat Congress is a biennial event, held in a major meat-producing country. It brings together more than 700 of the world’s meat industry thought leaders.