Following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) premarket approval of a cultured chicken meat (also known as “cell-based” or “lab-grown” meat) product from UPSIDE Foods, U.S. and Chinese food safety regulatory officials conferred in an online event on the global adoption of cultivated meat and other innovative foods.
On December 22, 2022, the AgFood Future Center of Excellence (AGF) and the Agriculture Food Partnership (AFP) organized an online event where, for the first time, regulatory experts from the FDA and the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA), discussed the regulatory approval process and prospects for cultivated meat in the major markets of China and the U.S. The event was supported and attended by the Chinese 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.
Jeremiah Fasano, Senior Policy Advisor at FDA's Regulatory Review Office, was the keynote speaker at the event. Fasano played a key role in UPSIDE's premarket approval process and is an FDA expert on cultivated meat. He expressed FDA's ongoing support for food technology innovation, encouraging industry representatives to connect "early and often" to "discuss the development of food technology, promote industry development, and solve food safety problems together." Fasano also shared his view on the prospect of meat innovation, stating that FDA is communicating with different companies, and is preparing public guidelines for industry." He further explained, "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."
Xiaohong Wang, Deputy Director of China's Institute of Food and Nutrition Development at MARA, expressed that, while Chinese regulatory authorities continue to attach great importance to food safety and will continue to conduct safety assessments on innovative meat products, they will also consider the potential of new technologies to meet the Chinese market's increasing demand for protein, while also considering consumers' acceptance of cultivated meat and other products. Yan Song, Director of Division III Risk Assessment at CFSA, noted that China will focus more on the food safety assessment of cell-cultivated meat in 2023. China’s 2023 plans include establishing expert working groups to ensure that “innovation, industry development, and food safety move forward together."
AGF has been facilitating protein innovation development in China since 2018, including partnering with AFP to organize ongoing policy dialogues between Chinese and U.S. regulators and industry representatives.