Producers of conventional and cultured seafood products are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to make sure consumers know what they’re buying once products ultimately hit the market.
An FDA Request for Information has elicited some agreement from a wide swath of the seafood sector as the federal government continues its efforts to wrap its arms around a regulatory approach for the nascent technology. A joint letter from the Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation and the National Fisheries Institute says FDA should adopt a regulatory framework that labels the products “in a way that is truthful, non-misleading, descriptive, and clear so as to inform consumers of what the products are and how they are produced.
“To do so, it is critical that these products are differentiated from and are clearly identifiable in comparison to their conventional counterparts through an accurate and descriptive qualifier or modifier,” the letter notes. “In addition, labeling should not be misleading in describing characteristics about the product, or its conventional counterparts in comparison.”
Memphis Meats, a company producing cell-based meat, poultry, and seafood, suggested accompanying language denoting the production process with more familiar nomenclature that would lead to packaging like “cell-cultured tuna steak.”
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“Use of the term ‘cell-cultured,’ in conjunction with the name of the conventionally produced seafood product, in the statement of identity or ingredient name of a cell-cultured seafood product will provide an accurate description of the food because it describes the basic nature and source of the food, as well as how it was produced,” the company said in its comments.
Finless Foods, a cell-cultured seafood company, said “it is critical that these products are differentiated from their conventional counterparts through an accurate and descriptive qualifier or modifier.”
FDA’s RFI comment period closed Monday.
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