FDA Considering Fake Meat and Milk

Cindy Zimmerman

The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is spending time this month discussing meat and milk.

Last week, FDA held a public meeting to discuss foods produced using animal cell culture technology – mainly lab-grown fake meat products – and which agency should be in charge of regulating. The meat industry believes fake meat should be regulated by USDA.

“Any fair reading of the law places lab-grown meat food products within the primary jurisdiction of the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service,” said Danielle Beck, director of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, during the meeting last week.

Speaking at a POLITICO summit this week, FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb said he believes his agency has a role in regulating. “The regulations speak about slaughtered meat,” said Gottlieb. “This is obviously different.”

Audio – FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb comments on regulating fake meat

Next week, July 26, FDA will be holding a public hearing on nutrition and labeling that will include whether non-dairy beverages derived from almonds or soy products should be able to call themselves milk. The American Dairy Coalition (ADC) has rolled out a new initiative to advocate for the proper use of federally standardized terms established for the word “milk” on product labels called the Protecting Milk Integrity Initiative.

Gottlieb says FDA has probably not been enforcing the standard of identity for milk. “There is a reference in the standard of identity to a lactating animal,” said Gottlieb. “An almond doesn’t lactate.”

Audio – FDA administrator Scott Gottlieb comments milk labeling

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