Imitation meat deserves the Same Regulations, Oversight as Beef

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association Director Missy Bonds says imitation meats should be regulated with the same oversight as beef.

In an editorial released Monday, Bonds says it’s essential “consumers, cattle producers, and government regulators come together now,” to craft the regulations. With lab grown meats readying for market, she says the industry must “ensure that fake meats are properly vetted and regulated to protect the health and well-being of consumers and prevent false or deceptive marketing.”

Bonds alleges deceptive marketing is already a problem, with lab-grown meat producers calling their products “clean meat,” which is not a legal marketing term. The Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration have agreed to a regulatory framework for lab-grown meat. However, Bonds says there are still many details to be determined.

Both agencies will likely be creating guidance documents and rules to define the food safety evaluation process. She urged cattle ranchers to stay engaged, and “Demand that regulators clearly and carefully label imitation products.”