Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) introduced a bill that would give formal, permanent oversight of inspection and labeling of cell-cultured meat products to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

The bill, known as the Cell-Cultured Meat and Poultry Regulation Act of 2019 (S. 1056), would amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) and Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) to determine specific jurisdictional boundaries of regulatory activities for FSIS and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FSIS and FDA signed a formal agreement delineating the roles of each agency in the regulatory process on March 7, 2019. The agreement does not permanently bind either agency as it could be revised as needed based on experience or funding considerations.

Senator Hyde-Smith’s bill largely mirrors the FSIS-FDA agreement, granting post-cell harvest stage inspection activities to FSIS and pre-cell harvest stage activities to FDA.

If the proposed legislation is enacted, FSIS and FDA will be required to issue final regulations within 18 months: (1) that prescribe the type and frequency of inspection required for the manufacture and process of food products; and (2) for the prevention of the adulteration and misbranding of food products.

With respect to labeling, the bill contains language that could potentially make it easier for cell-cultured meat products to be called “meat” or “poultry” and would pre-empt state laws that restrict the definitions of “meat,” “poultry,” “chicken,” etc. to potentially exclude cell-cultured meat products.

 

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