October 6, 2020
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing a Request for Information titled “Labeling of Foods Comprised of or Containing Cultured Seafood Cells,” to solicit information and data to help inform the agency and help determine what next steps may be needed to ensure that these foods are labeled properly.
Various companies, both domestic and foreign, are developing products using animal cell culture technology, and these products may soon enter the U.S. marketplace. This technology involves the controlled growth of animal cells and their harvesting and processing into food, either alone or combined with other food. The FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) have agreed to jointly oversee the production of food products derived from the cultured cells of livestock and poultry while the FDA will regulate food products derived from the cultured cells of species under its jurisdiction, such as seafood (except Siluriformes fish, commonly known as catfish, which is regulated by the USDA).
The labeling of food derived from cultured seafood cells generally falls under the jurisdiction of the FDA while the labeling of food derived from cultured meat and poultry cells will be overseen by the USDA. The FDA and USDA are working to develop joint principles for product labeling and claims to ensure that products are labeled consistently and transparently.
Ensuring that food made with cultured seafood cells are properly labeled is consistent with FDA’s goal of empowering consumers by providing information to help them make better informed choices.
The FDA invites comment, particularly data and other evidence, about names or statements of identity for foods made with cultured seafood cells. The agency is also interested in information on consumer understanding of those terms and how to determine material differences between cell cultured and conventionally produced seafood.
Comments are due 150 days following publication of the Request for Information in the Federal Register. Submit electronic comments to www.regulations.gov. Submit written submissions to: Dockets Management Staff (HFA-305), Food and Drug Administration, 5630 Fishers Lane, Rm. 1061, Rockville, MD 20852.
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