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Agricultural News


Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue Maintains USDA Authority Over 'Fake Meat,' But Says FDA will Have a Role

Wed, 07 Nov 2018 22:15:03 CST

Ag Sec. Sonny Perdue Maintains USDA Authority Over 'Fake Meat,' But Says FDA will Have a Role


United States Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue was recently in Oklahoma City talking with Oklahoma ag leaders including representatives from the cattle industry. Michael Kelsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, was there and urged the Secretary to be firm and not back down from any sort of regulatory battle with the Food & Drug Administration over lab-grown protein - or as the cattle industry likes to call it, ‘fake meat.’ Perdue seemed to be on much the same page with Kelsey.


“I think Congress would love for us to work it out about where the line of demarcation would be. FDA has had- even with traditional animal cultivation - a control of what goes into the feed and we think there is probably a role for FDA in the cell-cultured product along the lines of what amino acids are used and what they are feeding those cells with… what’s appropriate,” he said. “Once it comes into the growth process and processing - we think it’s appropriate the USDA assume that responsibility and we’re probably going to be doing a little arm wrestling over that middle section.”


Perdue continued to say that it is very clear the commercialization and the packaging aspects of the product should fall under the regulatory jurisdiction of the USDA. But, the ‘middle section’ he refers to, the mode of production and the various details that go into that process, Perdue says is somewhat vague. Hence the uncertainty in the question of which agency rightfully holds authority. Despite this challenge, Perdue says the USDA and FDA are working to amicably to resolve this issue.


“I think the good news is you people in traditional agriculture have a lot of friends in Congress,” he said, adding that the USDA and FDA will eventually come to a consensus and return to face the industry with a united front once a final decision is made. “We want the federal government to work as a whole for everybody. It doesn’t make any sense to us to have these inner squabbles about who does what.”


Listen to Secretary Sonny Perdue offer his position on the FDA’s challenge for regulatory authority over lab-grown meat, with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, 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.



   



   



Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with comments from USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue
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