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Singapore just became the first nation to approve cell-cultured meat for human consumption

December 3, 2020, The Counter

Brian Sylvester spoke with The Counter about Singapore’s approval of cell-cultured meat for human consumption, the first country to do so. Mr. Sylvester says several major issues remain unresolved for now. For instance, while FDA already regulates cells cultured for biomedical use, it does not yet stipulate how similar practices should be used for food production. At the same time, labeling rules for cell-cultured meat and poultry—overseen by both agencies but spearheaded by USDA—are still not yet definitive. As long as that’s the case, there will still be “a couple of steps before we see cell-based products in the U.S. marketplace,” he adds. “I think that the news from Singapore will get the conversation going in earnest at the FDA to try to find a way to market for these companies sooner rather than later.”

He says it’s not likely that Singapore’s approval will make the U.S. government feel pressure to ramp up its methodical pace. Still, it may bring renewed urgency to the deliberations that are ongoing. “I think FDA and USDA take a much more measured look at safety than other regulators around the world. I think that [the news from Singapore] will get the conversation going in earnest at the FDA to try to find a way to market for these companies sooner rather than later,” he adds.

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