Where’s the Beef? Cell-Cultured Meat Grown in a Lab Needs Regulation

By Jayne Roth

What will we find next on the grocery store shelf? A plethora of food and beverages beyond your imagination continue to be created thanks to advances in biotechnology and global supply chains. Food scientists and manufacturers are constantly developing cutting-edge products that tout being healthier and better for the environment, among other claims. Enter “cell-cultured” meat and seafood. How and who will regulate these novel foods to ensure they meet labeling requirements and are safe to eat, not adulterated or misbranded?

Within the industry, there are concerns about what to call these products – labels must provide information regarding their origin and method of production. Possibilities include cell-based meat, cell-cultured meat, cultivated meat, cultured meat, and lab-grown meat. A 2020 study conducted by William K. Hallman interviewed 3,186 adults and found that “cell-based” meat or seafood was the best option chosen by consumers. However, “cell-cultured” is more routinely used by the FDA and USDA at this time.

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