NCBA calls for Trump to step into lab-grown meat debate

By Ashley Williams

- Last updated on GMT

Calls for Trump to become involved in lab-grown meat debate
Calls for Trump to become involved in lab-grown meat debate
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has urged US President Donald Trump to ensure the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the primary regulatory authority for lab-grown meat.

NCBA has written a letter to Trump following jurisdiction concerns over lab-grown meat products during the Food and Drug Administration’s public meeting on the topic at the beginning of July.

The purpose of the meeting was to raise questions on technology, food safety, substances used in its manufacture and any potential hazards associated with the process.

NCBA questioned the Food and Drug Administration’s “regulatory power grab​” and said its actions were inconsistent with the recent White House Government reorganisation plan.

The letter to Trump outlined the critical role USDA plays in enforcing the same food safety and labelling standards for all meat and poultry products.

If cell-cultured protein companies want the privilege of marketing their products as meat and poultry products to the American public, in order to ensure a fair and competitive marketplace, they should be happy to follow the same rules as everyone else​,” the letter said.

Currently, the Federal Meat Inspection Act designates USDA as the main oversight body for lab-grown meat products. The NCBA said support from Trump would ensure American farmers and ranchers were not disadvantaged in the marketplace.

The American people elected President Trump because they trusted him to promote a level playing field for American products around the world​,” said Kevin Kester, NCBA president. “Now, the President has the chance to demonstrate his support for free and fair markets right here at home​.”

Earlier this year, NCBA expressed concerns over the labelling of lab-grown meat products. Meanwhile, Dutch-based cultured meat business Mosa Meat recently set a target to put Europe “on the map” in cultured meat production​ by bringing the product to the mainstream market by 2021.

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