FORT WORTH, Texas — Wednesday, the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association submitted comments to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Inspection Service to address questions about the labeling of lab-grown protein products.
Numerous companies across the globe are developing and preparing to introduce lab-grown proteins artificially cultured from animal cells. They intend to market these products to consumers as meat. While the Food and Drug Administration will oversee the manufacturing process, USDA will regulate how they are labeled and sold. The Agriculture Department has started collecting the public input necessary to develop those regulations.
In their comments, cattle raisers urged the department to apply the same standards for clarity to lab-grown products as currently exist for traditionally raised beef. This will ensure that the products are easily distinguishable on store shelves, protecting consumer confidence and the wholesome reputation of beef raised by ranchers.
“For millennia, cattle producers have provided the world with the natural and nutritious beef that we trust to feed our families,” said Hughes Abell, president of the Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. “A consistent, easy-to-interpret label with prominent language such as ‘lab-grown’ or ‘artificially grown’ will ensure consumers can make confident purchasing decisions whatever their preferences.”