As the debate over labeling and regulatory frameworks intensifies in the growing cell-cultured meat arena, a group of start-ups seeking to grow meat from cells without slaughtering animals has agreed to form an industry trade association and adopt the term “cell-based meat” to describe their products, according to a report from

The  Good Food Institute (GFI) held its inaugural Good Food Conference focusing on accelerating the commercialization of plant-based and clean meat. Cell-based meat brands converged at UC Berkeley last week for the conference and decided that, for the purposes of working with traditional meat companies and U.S. regulators, GFI is abandoning the term “clean meat” in favor of “cell-based meat” and also decided to form an industry trade association.

While plant-based meat and dairy companies formed a trade association in Washington called the Plant Based Foods Association in 2016.  “I think there is a real need for the cell-based meat companies to come together on a shared regulatory strategy and lobbying too, said Jessica Almy, Good Food Institute director of policy, at the conference.

The term “clean meat” was coined because cell-based meat is cultured in a sterile environment and the term had become more widely used in the media over the past year as the Good Food Institute has sought to popularize the term.  However, the clean meat term had some pushback, given its implication that regular meat is somehow “dirty” coupled with confusion over what clean meat means.

Speaking at the GFI conference last week, Seth Goldman, executive chairman at plant-based meat brand Beyond Meat said “clean meat is an odd term and I don’t think it’s a good term from a branding perspective.”

Another conference attendee said “we settled on using the term cell-based meat” and forming a trade association, but the details are still being worked out.”

Plant-based meat and dairy have already formed a trade association in 2016 in Washington, D.C. called The Plant Based Foods Association.