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NCBA riding herd on “fake meat”

Photo courtesy of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA)

Cowboys and cowgirls in Washington, D.C. are riding herd on negotiations between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on who will control the development and marketing of cell-based meats.

This product is referred to as “fake meat” by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). It is a major issue because of the supposed threat to traditional beef marketing.

NCBA has decided they cannot stop the development of cell-based laboratory grown meat, but can influence who regulates it. They have thrown in with the USDA, an agency that has been friendly to the cattle industry since Herefords had horns.

Last Friday afternoon, a joint news release from FDA and USDA generally outlined the separation of duties of each agency. FDA will assure the original beef that is to be cell cultured is pathogen free and USDA will then regulate the proliferation and labeling of the resulting cultured meat as it moves into commercial sales.

Danielle Beck is the senior director of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She outlined the outcome of the joint meeting of FDA and USDA.

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