January 26, 2023

Virtual meeting held over cultivated meat

Virtual meeting held over cultivated meat

By: Sydney Sheffield 

For the first time, The AgFood Future Center of Excellence (AGF) and the Agriculture Food Partnership (AFP) co-organized a virtual event where, regulatory experts from two of the largest potential markets for meat innovation, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA), met to discuss the regulatory approval process and prospects for cultivated meat in these two major markets. 

The event was supported and attended by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs (MARA) and the China Meat Association (CMA), who are also major influencers in developing China's protein innovation market.

“These meetings provide opportunities for start-ups, financiers, and ultimately, all players involved in protein innovation,” AgFood Future Chairman Ryan Xue said. “This in-depth sharing between the U.S. and China will have far-reaching significance for governments and industries interested in seeing the adoption of food innovation that will help shape food innovation and the future of food in the U.S., China, and the world.”

The meeting comes as the FDA completed its first pre-market consultation for a human food made from cultured animal cells, by approving cultivated chicken from Upside Foods. Upside Foods is the first company to receive this approval. 

"This is a watershed moment in the history of food," said Dr. Uma Valeti, CEO and Founder of UPSIDE Foods. "We started UPSIDE amid a world full of skeptics, and today, we've made history again as the first company to receive a 'No Questions' letter from the FDA for cultivated meat. This milestone marks a major step towards a new era in meat production, and I'm thrilled that U.S. consumers will soon have the chance to eat delicious meat that's grown directly from animal cells."

Because of these decisions, Jeremiah Fasano, senior policy advisor at the FDA’s Regulatory Review Office, believes these opportunities to strategize are necessary. “FDA is communicating with different companies, and we are preparing public guidelines for the industry,” Fasano said. “As companies engage with more regulators, more reviews and approvals get completed, adding to the global body of knowledge to jointly promote food technology innovation and food safety.”