FDA has announced that it will hold a public meeting to discuss foods produced using animal cell culture technology. Cell culture technologies that have been increasingly used to produce cells and tissues for human therapeutic use are now being used by the food sector to create innovative products that resemble conventional meat, poultry, and seafood. FDA has multiple authorities and programs that can support efforts to safely bring products with new ingredients to the market. Food safety is at the core of the agency’s mission to protect and promote public health for our nation’s consumers, the agency said.
Noting its extensive experience applying its existing authority flexibly and effectively to rapidly evolving areas of technological innovation such as plant biotechnology, FDA will share its experiences in evaluating and ensuring the safety of novel technologies in the food sector and discuss these issues with, and gather relevant data and information from, stakeholders.
The public meeting will give interested parties and the public an opportunity to comment on these emerging food technologies. Specifically, the agency is asking for input, relevant data and information on the following questions:
- What considerations specific to animal cell culture technology would be appropriate to include in evaluation of food produced by this method of manufacture?
- What kinds of variations in manufacturing methods would be relevant to safety for foods produced by animal cell culture technology?
- What kinds of substances would be used in the manufacture of foods produced using animal cell culture technology and what considerations would be appropriate in evaluating the safety of these uses?
- Are the potential hazards associated with production of foods using animal cell culture technology different from those associated with traditional food production/processing? Is there a need for unique control measures to address potential hazards associated with production of foods using animal cell culture technology?
While the primary subject of the meeting will focus on food safety, FDA said it recognizes the importance of other issues related to foods produced through animal cell culture technology, such as labeling, and it welcomes comment on these other issues, expecting that they will be the focus of future engagement with stakeholders and the public. FDA will share its initial thinking for how it intends to appropriately apply the existing regulatory tools and policies to this area of technology. In addition, it plans to leverage the expertise of FDA Science Board during their regular scheduled meeting in October to further inform its efforts.
As this field continues to advance, it will be important for FDA to provide timely information to both consumers and industry given the agency’s expertise and role in advancing food safety, the agency said. Thus, it is committed to working with stakeholders to foster innovation while ensuring the safety of the U.S. food supply.
For more information on FDA's perspective, see the Statement from FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. and FDA Deputy Commissioner Anna Abram on emerging food innovation, “cultured” food products.
The public meeting will be held on July 12, 2018 from 8:30 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at the Harvey W. Wiley Federal Building, 5001 Campus Drive, Auditorium (first floor), College Park, MD 20740. The meeting format will include introductory presentations and multiple opportunities for stakeholders and members of the public to express their opinions through oral presentations. Those unable to participate in person can join the meeting via live webcast. To register for in-person or online attendance, visit the meeting registration page. FDA recommends early registration because seating is limited. For questions regarding registration, contact Cindy Nachman-Senders, CNS Consulting Group, 7826 Whiterim Terrace, Potomac, MD, 20854, phone: 301-648-4466, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.