Beef Industry Claims Major Victory in Fake Meat Fight But NCBA's Colin Woodall Says War's Not Over
Oklahoma Farm Report
08 Mar 2019
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...
more, including audio [5:51 min.]