October 6, 2020
The following quote is attributed to Claudine Kavanaugh, Ph.D., MPH, RD, Director of the Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling in the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition:
“Advances in production techniques, food processing and packaging have opened new avenues that are expanding consumer choices. Animal cell-culture technology is one of those advances and efforts are underway to develop food products derived from or containing animal cell cultures.
“Today, the FDA is seeking input about labeling in this area of emerging food technology. Specifically, we are interested in information and data related to seafood cell-cultured products that are being developed to enter the marketplace. We invite comment about how these products could be named, consumer understanding of names and labeling associated with these products, and information on how to determine the differences between conventionally produced seafoods and cell-cultured seafood.
“Our goal is to ensure that cell-cultured seafood products are properly labeled so that consumers can make informed decisions about what they are eating."
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is issuing a Request for Information, “Labeling of Foods Comprised of or Containing Cultured Seafood Cells,” which seeks information and data to help determine what next steps may be needed to ensure that food made from cultured seafood cells is labeled properly.
- Taking a small number of cells from living animals and growing them in a controlled environment to create food is an emerging area of food science. While there are currently no foods made from cultured seafood cells on the market, efforts are underway to develop these food products, using a process often referred to as animal cell-culture technology. Animal cell-culture technology involves the controlled growth of animal cells, their subsequent differentiation into various cell types, and their harvesting and processing into food.
- The FDA shares oversight of food products derived from or containing animal cell cultures with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. The FDA has the responsibility of regulating all foods derived from or containing cultured seafood cells and seafood food products, with the exception of catfish. The FDA is working to ensure that food developers bring safe and properly labeled products to the market.
The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.