Food Fight - NCBA President Kevin Kester Calls Out FDA's Regulatory Power Grab Over 'Fake Meat'Thu, 26 Jul 2018 15:59:52 CDT
Awareness of what the beef industry is calling “fake meat” is on the rise. Kevin Kester, president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, touched on that topic during the 66th Annual Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association Convention & Trade Show recently with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays. According to him, everywhere he goes these days, the issue of fake meat is on everyone’s minds, wanting to know the latest developments on the process being undertaken to appropriately regulate the new product.
“There’s two components… plant-based fake meat, the Beyond Burger, Impossible Burger - those products are already on the market,” Kester explained, noting that the Food & Drug Administration currently has jurisdiction over this product’s regulation, but contends FDA’s track record of performance has been poor over the past 20 years. He says this is something the NCBA has been working on to get the FDA more actively engaged. “What’s new are the cell-based, or what I call a petri-dish fake meat. Those products will be coming out probably in the not too distant future.”
Come to find out, though, Kester says there is no agency in government with jurisdiction over cell-based food products, since there has never been such a thing before. Based on the inefficiency of FDA’s past performance, Kester says NCBA is advocating that the USDA, specifically its Food Safety Inspection Service be granted oversight of this new product. He claims the USDA will be much more stringent in their marketing and inspection requirements. This is something he insists consumers want and have asked for. With the association’s annual Denver business meeting coming up, he believes it will be a major topic of discussion in addition to other concerns such as traceability, vaccine bank development, etc.
“We want to make sure whatever products come out of the lab have the same protocols and requirements for food safety inspection systems that we go through,” Kester said.
On Thursday, Kester sent a letter to President Trump, urging that he intervene in this dispute and support USDA's claim of having rightful jurisdiction over fake meat products. Click here to read more on that story.
Listen to Kester and Hays discuss the latest on the fake meat front, on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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