On October 7, 2020, we blogged about the request by the Harvard Law Animal Law and Policy Clinic that the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) refrain from proposing regulations governing so-called meatless meat products: foods that resemble traditional meats and poultry but derived from cell culture or plants.

On October 19, 2020, two industry groups asked the USDA to do the opposite. The Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation (representing cell-based producers) and the North American Meat Institute (representing traditional producers) requested the USDA to solicit the data needed to establish mandatory labeling requirements for meatless meat.

Their letter noted that the launch date for marketing cell-based meat is fast approaching. The producers of such products want clear and truthful labeling that enables consumers to distinguish them from conventional meat and disparages neither kind of product.
Continue Reading Meatless Meat Regulatory Update

We have blogged on several occasions, most recently on June 19, 2020, about so-called “meatless meat” statutes – statutes intended to regulate the labeling of products resembling traditional meat or poultry but produced from plant- or lab-based materials. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the Department of Agriculture has concurrent jurisdiction over such matters along with the FDA, and the agencies are contemplating issuing regulations.

The Harvard Law Animal Law and Policy Clinic (ALPC) recently asked FSIS to postpone any regulations in the area of lab-based meat until it has a better understanding of the safety of such products and has had an opportunity to review proposed labels.

The idea of lab-based meat was first bruited in 1930. The first patent for such a product was awarded in 1999 and numerous start-ups claim that they are ready, or almost ready, to sell lab-based meat commercially.
Continue Reading Update On Meatless Meat

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a new policy to provide flexibility for restaurants and food manufacturers that have products on hand that are not labeled for retail sale (i.e. labeled for foodservice). To facilitate food distribution during the COVID019 pandemic, FDA released a guidance document, Guidance for Industry: Temporary Policy Regarding Nutrition Labeling of Certain Packaged Food During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, which allows restaurants and food manufactures to sell food products without nutrition labeling under certain circumstances. FSIS provided similar flexibility for FSIS regulated products last week.
Continue Reading Following FSIS Lead, FDA Announces Flexibility on Nutrition Labeling Requirements for Foodservice Products Diverted to Retail

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) has proposed to eliminate requirements that certain meat and poultry products display net weights using a dual declaration format (i.e. requiring that some products declare weight in both pounds and ounces). The proposal would remove the dual net weight declaration for meat or poultry