US cattlemen seek ban of word ‘meat’ in lab-grown products
A petition asking for alternative protein and lab-grown products not to be marketed as beef or meat has been filed to the Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
The US Cattlemen Association (USCA) is asking for products not derived directly from animals raised and slaughtered to be excluded from using the definitions ‘beef’ and ‘meat’, in a bid to avoid “mis-labelling” of products.
USCA is asking for the service to establish “certain beef labelling requirements”, arguing that the labels of “beef” or “meat” should inform consumers that the product is derived naturally from animals, as opposed to alternative proteins.
The petition states: “Alternative products such as those described above should thus not be permitted to be labelled as ‘beef’, which is widely understood by consumers to be the flesh of a bovine animal, such as cattle, harvested for use as food, or as ‘meat’, which is understood to be derived from animal tissue or flesh for use as food.”
USCA requests that the service limits the definition of beef to product from cattle born, raised and harvested in the “traditional manner”; more specifically, FSIS should require that any product labelled as “beef” come from cattle that have been born, raised and harvested in the traditional manner, rather than coming from alternative sources, such as a synthetic product from plant, insects, or other non-animal components and any product grown in labs from animal cells.
In addition, it requests that the broader definition of ‘meat’ also be limited to the tissue or flesh of animals that have been harvested in the traditional manner.
The petition comes as meat companies Tyson Foods and Cargill have announced investments in so-called ‘clean meat’ start-ups.