Meat is meat, not a science project

Lia Biondo

Guest Opinion

Last Friday, the United States Cattlemen’s Association submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service requesting the agency to establish accurate beef labeling requirements to better inform consumers on the difference between beef products derived from cattle and those created in a laboratory.

Following recent investment interest by major U.S. and international companies, USCA’s membership initiated the effort to clearly label and identify alternative “beef” products that are not derived from cattle. These alternative “beef” products include synthetic product that is made from plant and/or insects and lab-grown product derived from animal cells in a petri dish.

USCA President Kenny Graner issued the following statement following the submission:

“Accurate labeling of U.S. beef products has always been a number one priority for the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association. Our members brought forth their concern with the labeling of products as “meat” that are not in fact derived from bovine animals and USCA leadership and staff moved ahead with this petition to address that concern.

“Consumers depend upon the USDA FSIS to ensure that the products they purchase at the grocery store match their label descriptions. We look forward to working with the agency to rectify the misleading labeling of “beef” products that are made with plant or insect protein or grown in a petri dish. U.S. cattle producers take pride in developing the highest quality, and safest, beef in the world, and labels must clearly distinguish that difference.

Read the full petition (PDF): https://gallery.mailchimp.com/c35966bef9b816acff772766f/files/93a80175-c96b-4c10-9ff6-8f500967dbbe/20180209_USCA_FSIS_Petition_re_definition_of_beef_and_meat.pdf.

Lia Biondo is the director of Policy and Outreach with the United States Cattlemen’s Association.

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