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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 22, 2019 12:16 PM
From: Representative Steven R. Malagari
To: All House members
Subject: Clarification Relative to Cell-Cultured Meat
It looks, tastes, and even bleeds like meat but is, in fact, not harvested from a live animal: Cell-cultured meat. Recent developments in both the food and technology industries have given rise to several substitute meat alternatives. Not only can consumers purchase vegetable-based imitation meat products, but cell-cultured meat alternatives are also now possible.

Consumers deserve to know what goes into producing the goods they buy, and this ever more important when it comes to the labeling of the food we eat. Everyone, regardless of meat-eater, vegetarian, or vegan, should be confident of origins of the produce they consume.

Cell-cultured meat has been developed through technological advances in stem cell biology and tissue engineering. It has not been directly harvested from an animal, but grown in a lab. This scientifically developed meat will receive the USDA stamp like regular meat, and might be available on the same shelf or restaurant menu, but there are not yet any regulations in place on how to label accurately to protect the consumer.

While proponents of cell-cultured meat point out that this new technology provides a slaughter-free alternative to animal-based meat, it is still an emerging industry and, therefore, should be regulated accordingly. Therefore, I plan to introduce legislation that would define “cell-cultured edible products” and provide clarification in labeling to ensure that these food and menu products are not misbranded or mislabeled.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important measure.