CELL-BASED/CULTURED MEAT, POULTRY AND SEAFOOD FACTS
The members of the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation (AMPS Innovation), like other companies in our emerging sector, remain in the research and development (R&D) phase, but we are working as quickly as we can to bring our products to market. We are committed to this work because we believe that cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood will be a critical and sustainable component, in partnership with the overall agriculture sector, to meeting increased demand for meat as the world’s population continues to grow. That’s why AMPS Innovation supports a regulatory structure that will create a safe, fair and transparent pathway to market and will support continued innovation in our sector for years to come.
For meat and poultry companies specifically, this means we support joint oversight of our products by FDA and USDA. For seafood, we also support a safe, fair and transparent pathway to market at FDA.
Below, we share answers to common questions about how cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood is made and how USDA and FDA are working together to establish a clear, predictable, efficient, and risk-based regulatory framework based on long-standing U.S. policy that we use scientific evidence to govern new food technologies or ingredients, including cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood.
1. Did you know that FDA has had safety oversight over a host of innovative food products and technologies brought to market over the past several decades?
- Cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood companies support FDA oversight over premarket safety evaluations for cell-based meat, poultry and seafood products under the Agency’s existing authorities and consistent with longstanding practice.
- FDA has always had oversight over pre-market safety evaluations for new food production processes. USDA regularly works with FDA on meat and poultry food product safety and will continue to do so with cell-based/cultured meat products.
- Given the statement by USDA and FDA last fall recognizing their authority to jointly oversee cell-based/cultured meat and poultry, we believe this should continue to be the case for new cell-based/cultured meat and poultry products coming to market.
2. Did you know that many cell-based/cultured meat and poultry companies already source cells from animals inspected by USDA?
- Cell-based/cultured meat and poultry companies can source high-quality cells from tissues of healthy animals.
3. Did you know that the agencies have determined that for cell-based/cultured meat and poultry products, transfer of authority from FDA to USDA will be during the tissue harvest process?
- While USDA and FDA are working to establish an appropriate inspection process for cell-based/cultured meat and poultry, we have confidence that they can forge a sensible approach based on their respective areas of expertise.
- As USDA and FDA refine the joint regulatory framework for cell-based meat and poultry, we are confident they will identify a more specific point in the production process at which oversight would transfer from FDA to USDA.
- After pre-market safety has been established by FDA, USDA should regulate cell-based meat and poultry products, as it does with all other meat and poultry products, applying relevant findings from FDA’s pre-market safety evaluation.
4. Did you know that for the regulation of cell-based seafood products, the FDA has sole jurisdiction?
- Seafood has always been regulated primarily by FDA, and that will continue to be the case for cell-based/cultured seafood products.
5. Did you know cell-based/cultured meat technology is already used to make common foods that you can buy in the grocery store?
- The potential risks associated with producing cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood, as well as the controls needed to address such potential risks, are well-understood and not substantially different from other products currently on the market.
- In fact, FDA has evaluated and addressed risks related to numerous products developed using cell culture technologies, including food products on the market today like yogurt, beer, bread, and cheese.
6. Did you know that cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood is – just like any other meat, poultry and seafood – safe to eat when cooked properly?
- Like any other food company, the safety of our food products is paramount to consumer trust and satisfaction. As with any other food product, the regulatory agencies of jurisdiction – in this case both USDA and FDA – will affirm the safety of our products.
7. Did you know that cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood is expected to be the same as conventionally-produced meat, poultry and seafood, all the way down to the cellular level?
- We source our cells from cows, pigs, chicken or fish—animals that already are raised for food. Instead of growing the entire animal, we grow just what is needed for the final product. We even feed the cells the same nutrients animals need to grow and thrive.
- The only difference between cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood products and conventionally-produced products is the process by which the animal parts are grown and harvested.
8. Did you know that cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood products are real meat, poultry and seafood, not plant-based or meat “alternatives”?
- Although animal slaughter is not required to create them, cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood products are not vegetarian.
- There are many new vegan and vegetarian products coming to market that mimic meat, poultry and seafood, but they are actually composed of plants and plant-based products. These products are different from cell-based/cultured meat, poultry and seafood, which is grown directly from animal cells and is the same as conventionally-produced meat, poultry and seafood, all the way down to the cellular level.