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Lab Grown Meat Receives Regulatory Oversight It Has Been Asking For

by | March 27, 2019

Do you remember the news of lab grown meat making rounds on the internet? To me, it sounded like a joke cracked on vegans and vegetarians. I did not initially believe it, and later I came to know it was authentic. Scientists did successfully venture into growing meat inside laboratories. After path-breaking innovations in deriving plant-based alternatives of animal-based sources, cultured meat has received the much sought after regulatory oversight. Read on to know more.

lab grown meat
Credit: by nevodka/ Shutterstock

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Lab Grown Meat gets Much Needed Regulatory Oversight

The USDA (Department of Agriculture) and the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) announced the establishment of a regulatory framework on March 7 Thursday which will regulate the cell-based meat and poultry industry, reported Vox.com. Not every time we get to see this level of hype associated with the establishment of a regulatory framework, unlike here, companies are literally celebrating.

Proponents have been long arguing for a similar regulatory framework like that for slaughterhouses because they claim their ‘meat’ is a ‘meat’ too. They pointed out- if the American “clean-meat” industry has to maintain a neck and neck competition with their counterparts in China, Israel, Netherlands, Singapore, and Japan, (and other nations) it has to assure that FDA and USDA will responsibly regulate the products.

The lab grown meat industry seeks to achieve two things in one act. Alongside combating animal-cruelty, the sector aims to fight climate changes. All these to feed increasingly wealthy and growing global population. However, to make people believe in the potential of the cell-based meat and its safety of consumption, the regulatory framework is like a holy grail. Consumer confidence is critical for making it a choice and if consumers don’t believe in the safety of cultured meat, that it is regulated and healthy, they’ll resort to the other form.

A cell-based meat company- JUST proclaiming on the decision of setting regulatory framework said that consumers should have confidence in cultured products that they’re safe and properly labeled.

The Decision

By deciding to introduce a regulatory framework on lab grown meat, the government is treating it with similar oversight as any other food subject. This is the cause of all the excitement among the initiators. Both the FDA and USDA will be jointly functioning in their respective zones to regulate this. A formal agreement outlined which issues are the jurisdiction of which agency. This will further lead to developing guidelines without interfering on each other’s functions.

Despite there are lots of stones yet to be unturned, the first step is still worth cherishing. The regulatory framework, in this case, is however to gain momentum. Like, there is still no clear direction given to the demand of lab grown meat advocates to call it ‘meat.’ Many states have prohibited from doing so. What are your views on this? Let us know below.


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Debayan Paul

Digital Writer | West Bengal, India | [email protected]

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