Today's date is February 18, 2020

Soto, Johnson Introduce Bill to Ensure Clear Meat Processing and Labeling

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Washington, D.C. – Yesterday, U.S. Representatives Darren Soto (D-FL) and Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.) introduced the Food Safety Modernization for Innovative Technologies Act, a bipartisan bill which would formalize a regulatory framework for food derived from cell-based technology.

Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) agreed to ensure food and labeling safety for cell-based meat products. The bill leverages the lab and food safety oversight expertise of the FDA and USDA while ensuring thorough agency oversight to protect consumers and the integrity of product claims.

“As consumers continue to seek alternative meat products, like cell-based meat, it’s more imperative than ever that we create regulations for food substitutes,” said Soto. “We want to ensure Americans are getting the safe product they sign up for when they’re checking out at the grocery store. I’m proud to introduce this bill with Congressman Johnson and excited to have the support of Florida’s cattle ranchers!”

“South Dakota ranchers already produce a safe, quality product, anything lab grown should have to meet the same standards for consumers,” said Johnson. “As cell-cultured foods make way to the supermarket, Americans deserve to know exactly what it is they are feeding their families.”

Under this legislation, FDA would oversee the lab process of multiplying animal collected cells to make tissue and USDA would oversee processing, packaging and labeling. Through a coordinated agency process, the Secretary of Agriculture would have the authority to require prior approval of labels or labeling claims before introduction into the consumer market. The bill also provides protections for misbranded products, including “imitation” products that could confuse consumers.

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