The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Services is extending the comment period for a petition submitted by the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) requesting that FSIS exclude so-called lab meat from the definitions of “beef” and “meat.”
“USCA has learned that some major U.S. meatpackers and companies in other countries are heavily investing in creating alternative products that may resemble in appearance and taste beef products, including synthetic ‘beef’ and ‘beef’ grown in laboratories using animal cells, known as ‘in vitro’ meat, ‘bio meat,’ ‘clean meat,’ or ‘cultured meat,’ ” according to the cattle association petition.
“Such products, which are not derived from animals born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner, should not be permitted to be marketed as ‘beef,’ or more broadly as ‘meat’ products.”
The Feb. 9 petition was posted on the FSIS petitions webpage on Feb. 16 and is available at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/e4749f95-e79a-4ba5-883b-394c8bdc97a3/18-01-Petition-US-Cattlement-Association020918.pdf?MOD=AJPERES.
FSIS’ regulations permit interested people to submit comments on petitions filed with the agency and provide for posting these comments on the FSIS website. The regulations require comments on a petition to be submitted within 60 days of the posting date of the petition, and the comment period for the USCA petition was scheduled to close on April 17.
But the petition has generated significant interest from stakeholders and FSIS got a request on April 10 to extend the comment period, and FSIS is extending it to May 17.
People can submit comments via the federal eRulemaking portal a: http://www.regulations.gov; by mail to Docket Clerk, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Mailstop 3758, Room 6065, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700; or by hand or courier delivery to 1400 Independence Avenue SW, Room 6065, Washington, D.C. 20250-3700.
All comments submitted by mail or electronic mail must include the agency name and identification number FSIS-2018-0016.
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)