July 5, 2018
Authored by: Bryan Cave and Luke Westerman
The next wave of emerging agricultural biotechnology is set for its first regulatory showdown. Cell-cultured meat (“CCM”) allows your steak to be grown in a lab by replicating animal cells. Some CCM products are even created using synthetic products derived from plants, insects, and other non-animal proteins. No matter the type of culture used, CCM products are created without animals born, raised, and slaughtered in the traditional manner. Advocates of this emerging industry have coined the term “clean meat,” but many in the conventional meat food industry feel it should not be called “meat” at all.
On February 9, 2018, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association (“USCA”) filed a petition with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) requesting that USDA invoke its jurisdiction over CCM and mandate that such products not be allowed to use “meat” or “beef” in their labeling. Indeed, the USCA asserts that such terms should be associated