Beef Industry Claims Major Victory in Fake Meat Fight But NCBA's Colin Woodall Says War's Not OverFri, 08 Mar 2019 13:03:19 CST
A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the Food & Drug Administration and the US Department of Agriculture over the oversight of cellular-based meat. According to National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s chief lobbyist, Colin Woodall, the terms of this agreement announced this week represent a major victory for the beef industry.
“This basically delineates the role for each agency. It will allow FDA to look at the overall safety and development of the product, but once the product is commercialized - the daily inspection, and overall labeling of the product will go to the USDA. That’s what we wanted,” Woodall said, explaining how this will help keep the beef industry from falling into the same situation as the dairy industry which overtime has lost its product identity due to imitation by its competitors. “We knew in order to protect ourselves, USDA had to be a part of this. If (companies backing cultured-protein products) are going to compete in the meat space, then they need to be inspected like the rest of us in the meat space. That’s what this MOU does and more importantly - it gives labeling approval to USDA.”
The companies behind these products being developed have attempted to brand them as “clean meat,” a term conventional producers argue is misleading and injurious to their own product. However, Woodall says, the USDA will prevent this from happening. And while this is certainly good news for stakeholders in the beef business, Woodall says that the fight is not over - far from it in fact. Next, the industry will have to work to protect the use of its nomenclature (i.e. ribeye, sirloin, beef, etc.) before “fake meat” products arrive commercially on the market which Woodall guesses is still probably five years or so from actually happening.
“That is the next hurdle in this fight. This announcement is just one in a series of battles that we expect to come, so we have a lot of work to do to make sure that once this product comes to market that we are protecting ourselves in the process,” he said. “We’re ahead of the curve though, which allows us time to make sure all these protocols are in place to protect us.”
Listen to Woodall’s full conversation with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays, discussing the agreement between the USDA and FDA regarding the agencies’ shared oversight of lab-grown protein, on today’s Beef Buzz - brought to you by the American Angus Association. America’s breed.
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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