The USDA and the FDA announced that they will oversee the production of laboratory grown meat so it can be sold to consumers across the United States.

A statement from the two agencies says they will “foster these innovative food products and maintain the highest standards of public health.” The FDA will be responsible for regulating the first stages of the process, the growing, collecting and banking of the cells used for artificial meat production, and the USDA will work on production and labeling.

“A transition from FDA to USDA oversight will occur during the cell harvest stage,” the statement said. “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. USDA and FDA are confident that this regulatory framework can be successfully implemented and assure the safety of these products.”

The first laboratory grown burger was made only five years ago. The meat is derived from stem cells taken from poultry and livestock that is then turned into muscle tissue.

It would eliminate the need for animals to be bred and slaughtered. Presently, meat production, is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, so laboratory grown meat could have a positive impact to address climate change.



Photo: “Banh Mi Burger” by Mack Male is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0