The field of lab-grown meat is "dynamic," "complex" and "evolving," said FDA leaders in declaring the agency, which regulates most of the food supply, has the technical expertise and the statutory authority to regulate so-called clean meat. The cattle industry protested that the USDA is in charge of meat safety.
An analysis of 60 global meat and fish producers found that 36 companies worth $136 billion were a "high risk" for investors, because they failed to address a range of sustainability issues including greenhouse gas emissions, animal welfare, antibiotics use, worker conditions, and food safety, said the Farm Animal Investment Risk & Return (FAIRR) Initiative.
The U.S. hog inventory is up 3 percent from a year ago, according to a quarterly report by USDA. Beef and poultry production are also expanding, leading USDA to forecast a nearly 4-percent increase in the meat supply this year. The increase is so large that per capita meat consumption is expected to increase by 5.6 pounds, to 222.4 pounds per person.
Several states are considering country of origin labeling (COOL) proposals, which would require that beef products be labeled as imported or domestic products. The state proposals follow several years of attempts by rancher groups to revive federal law that would require country of origin labeling for beef.
The U.S. Cattlemen's Association petitioned the USDA to establish label requirements for laboratory-grown meat and alternative proteins, said the weekly Tri-State Livestock News, of Belle Fourche, S.D. "We look forward to working with the agency to rectify the misleading labeling of 'beef' products that are made with plant or insect protein or grown in a Petri dish," said USCA president Kenny Graner.
The USDA’s acting chief scientist, Chavonda Jacobs-Young, has publicly criticized the World Health Organization’s updated recommendations for curbing antibiotic use on farms, citing poor science.
The Government Accountability Office urged federal regulators, in the words of Harvest Public Media, "to better protect meatpacking workers, who are often exposed to dangerous chemicals, not allowed bathroom breaks and refused medical treatment." The GAO report said workers sometimes decide not to report problems for fear of retaliation, making it harder for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to get a clear picture of conditions.
Maple Leaf Foods, Canada's largest distributor of packaged meats, says it will buy Field Roast Grain Meat Co. in an expansion of its role in the North American market for alternative proteins. Based in Seattle, Field Roast produces grain-based "meat" and vegan cheese products, such as plant-based roasts, sausages, burgers and sliced cheese. It also makes a frozen vegan mac-and-cheese.
Memphis Meats, a San Francisco Bay–area company that is developing technology to grow meat from self-reproducing cells, raised $17 million in funding from investors that included Cargill, one of the largest U.S. meatpackers. “Cargill’s investment is the first by a traditional meat company in to the ‘clean meat’ sector,” said Drovers CattleNetwork.