In a statement issued Friday (November 16), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that both agencies will jointly oversee the production of cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry.
The decision was made after “several thoughtful discussions” between the agencies following a public meeting, held in October, where the use of livestock and poultry cell lines to develop cell-cultured food products was discussed. At this meeting, the agencies said stakeholders shared valuable perspectives on the regulation needed to “both foster these innovative food products and maintain the highest standards of public health.”
According to the agreement, the FDA will oversee cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage. The USDA will then oversee the production and labeling of food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry. The agencies said they are actively refining the technical details of the framework, including robust collaboration and information sharing between the agencies to allow each to carry out our respective roles.
This regulatory framework will leverage both the FDA’s experience regulating cell-culture technology and living biosystems and the USDA’s expertise in regulating livestock and poultry products for human consumption. The USDA and FDA said they are confident that this regulatory framework can be successfully implemented and assure the safety of these products. The agencies said because each one has the statutory authority necessary to appropriately regulate cell-cultured food products derived from livestock and poultry, the U.S. administration does not believe that legislation on this topic is necessary.