Yesterday, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its decision to decline the advocacy group’s objections to the agency’s approval of a genetically engineered (GE) soy protein used in the Impossible Burger. Also referred to as genetically engineered “heme,” soy leghemoglobin is the color additive Impossible Foods uses to make its plant-based burger appear to “bleed.”
Eat Just, Inc., which last month also revealed plans to jointly open their largest plant protein isolate production facility in Singapore, appears to be the first company to have secured such cultivated meat approval. According to SFA, Eat Just’s cultivated chicken was recently allowed to be sold in Singapore as an ingredient in the company’s chicken bites. Other products reportedly in the pipeline include Shiok Meats’ cultivated shrimp and Ants Innovate’s cultivated meat.
The first move is the government initiative in establishing the Food Tech Research Group. The Food Tech Research Group, including over 100 companies, was launched by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in April 2020. It aims to foster the food industry and strengthen Japan’s food security through utilizing different cutting-edge technology.
As a starting point, manufacturers of plant-based and lab-grown products should not be labeling their imitations as “meat.” In a joint announcement early this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration released a statement regarding how lab-grown “meat” should be regulated and labelled.
Whether you are a consumer or rancher, I urge you to stay engaged. Demand that regulators clearly and carefully label imitation products, so we know what we are buying.Cell-cultured meat is not the same beef that my family and I produce. These new products must be defined and properly regulated to ensure we can continue to benefit from the safest and most abundant food supply in the world.