• Cultured meat has been an increasingly hot topic since the first “clean meat” hamburger was introduced in London in 2013. The technology involves using cell culturing techniques to multiply a small amount of cells taken from an animal to produce foods that resemble traditional meat, poultry, and seafood. As commercial-scale production of cultured meat becomes foreseeable, regulatory agencies must determine how these products fit into their food compliance programs.
  • Today, FDA published notice of a public meeting 83 Fed. Reg. 28238 to discuss safety-related data and information that FDA is seeking on foods produced using animal cell culture techniques. The public meeting will be held on July 12, 2018, from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. EST. Naming of such foods (which we have covered on this blog) will not be a focus of the upcoming meeting. Meeting topics will include:
    • What considerations specific to animal cell culture technology would be appropriate to include in evaluation of food produced by this method of manufacture?
    • What kinds of variations in manufacturing methods would be relevant to safety for foods produced by animal cell culture technology?
    • What kinds of substances would be used in the manufacture of foods produced using animal cell culture technology and what considerations would be appropriate in evaluating the safety of these uses?
    • Are the hazards associated with production of foods using animal cell culture technology different from those associated with traditional food production/processing (such as, for example, insanitary conditions, improper temperature controls, or control of contaminants)?
    • Is there a need for unique control measures to address the hazards associated with production of foods using animal cell culture technology?
  • Comments for consideration by FDA in regulating the safety of foods produced using animal cell culture techniques are due by September 25, 2018.