Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation and National Fisheries Institute Send Joint Letter In Response to FDA Request for Information on ‘Labeling of Foods Comprised of or Containing Cultured Seafood Cells’
Washington, D.C. (March 8, 2021) – Today, the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation (AMPS Innovation), an industry coalition representing the makers of cell-cultured meat, poultry and seafood products, and the National Fisheries Institute (NFI), a trade association that represents companies throughout the seafood production supply chain, jointly submitted comments to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in response to the agency’s Labeling of Foods Comprised of or Containing Cultured Seafood Cells Request for Information. The letter calls on the agency to support a framework that labels these new products descriptively, accurately, and consistently to represent what the products actually are, how they are made, and ensure robust consumer transparency.
Accordingly, the two groups believe that labeling of seafood products produced using cell-cultured technology should be thoughtfully based on the following key criteria:
• Truthful, non-misleading, descriptive, and clear, communicating to the consumer what the product is and how it is produced, in line with FDA’s regulatory requirements,
• Signal potential allergenicity and nutrition for consumer safety and transparency,
• Non-disparaging to either cell-cultured or conventional seafood products, and
• Differentiated from conventionally produced wild or farmed seafood products through a qualifier that modifies the conventional name of the product.
Based on peer-reviewed research carried out by Rutgers professor Dr. William Hallman, NFI and the super-majority of AMPS Innovation, including all of the cell-cultured seafood companies, urge the FDA to adopt and memorialize the sole use of the term “cell-cultured” to support uniform labeling within the seafood category.
Full text of the letter can be accessed here.
Under a joint framework for regulation of cell-cultured meat, poultry and seafood products, which was agreed to by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the FDA in March 2019, the two agencies will work together to ensure the safety and labeling of cell-cultured meat, poultry, and seafood products.
Among other provisions of the framework, FSIS will have oversight of the labeling of cell-cultured meat and poultry, as it does for all meat and poultry sold in the United States, while FDA will oversee the labeling of cell-cultured seafood, as it does for most seafood sold in the United States. In a public presentation last summer, the agencies committed to joint principles for product labeling and labeling claims across cell-cultured meat, poultry and seafood products.
This is the second instance in which AMPS Innovation has partnered with an organization representing the conventional food and agriculture industry to align on labeling-related policies. In October 2020 AMPS Innovation and the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) sent a letter to FSIS calling for the agency to solicit input on what labeling for cell-cultured meat and poultry products should look like through an Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking.
About the Alliance for Meat, Poultry & Seafood Innovation
The Alliance for Meat, Poultry & Seafood Innovation is working to advance new methods of producing real, high-quality, safe meat, poultry and seafood products directly from cells, which, in partnership with the broader agricultural community, will help meet the demands of feeding a growing global population. AMPS Innovation advocates for our industry through sharing our collective expertise, providing insight into our innovation, and committing to safety and transparency with all stakeholders, including industry partners, policymakers, advocates and consumers. To learn more about the Alliance for Meat, Poultry & Seafood Innovation, visit www.ampsinnovation.org.
About the National Fisheries Institute
The National Fisheries Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to education about seafood safety, sustainability, and nutrition. NFI and its members are committed to sustainable management of our oceans and being stewards of our environment by endorsing the United Nations Principles for Responsible Fisheries. Our investment in our oceans today will provide our children and future generations the health benefits of a plentiful supply of fish and seafood tomorrow. From responsible aquaculture, to a marketplace supporting free trade, to ensuring the media and consumers have the facts about the health benefits of fish and shellfish, NFI and its members support and promote sound public policy based on ground truth science. Learn more at www.aboutseafood.com.