Is it meat or isn’t it?
Beef producers say making sure labels are clear is again a priority for 2019.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue says the USDA and the Food and Drug Administration are close to signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) regarding regulatory authority of laboratory-produced cultured protein.
David Dick, a cow/calf producer from Sedalia, Missouri says the issue of “fake meat” is troublesome. “What is it,” he says. “What we’re really driving at is when you get down to it is truth in advertising. Is it meat or is it not meat?”
AUDIO: David Dick, Sedalia, Missouri
Danielle Beck, director of government relations for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association tells Brownfield the words on the label matter. “At this point it is too early to tell whether or not consumers understand the difference between synthetic, in vitro, lab grown, cell cultured, or cell based protein,” she says. “We believe if the USDA conducts a study it will have a degree of credibility that you wouldn’t find with an industry funded survey.”
Beck says the NCBA would like to see the agencies delay the signing of the MOU until the USDA has had the opportunity to vet the product.
AUDIO: Danielle Beck, NCBA