FSA launches manufacturers survey in step towards cultivated meat legalisation

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

A number of firms in the UK are involved in manufacturing of cultivated meat products. Credit: Ivy Farm Technologies
A number of firms in the UK are involved in manufacturing of cultivated meat products. Credit: Ivy Farm Technologies

Related tags cultured meat

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has launched a survey aimed at learning more about the work conducted by cultivated meat manufacturers in the UK.

Developed by the FSA and Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the survey asks manufacturers when future applications for cell-cultivated products might be made and what technology is being used.

The information gathered from the survey is set to inform future regulatory policy and potential changes to the product authorisation process.

The sale of cultivated meat is currently prohibited in the UK, but applications for the assessment of cell-cultivated products are being welcomed by the FSA. It aims to present an update on its work to the FSA board in spring 2024.

Natasha Smith, deputy director of food policy at the FSA, said that the agency was committed to supporting innovation within new markets but needed to ensure that products are safe before allowing them to go on sale.

Ensuring the safety of any new and innovative food product, including cell-cultivated products, is paramount, and we must balance fast paced technological advances and industry demands for rapid approval processes with protecting public health,” ​Smith added.

We are currently considering future changes to the regulated products approval process across all regimes, and we will be discussing this reform further at our March board meeting. We continue to engage with the cell-cultivated products industry to gain their insights about how to best manage applications and to set expectations about the approval process, including timelines and the type of information that applicants should provide when submitting a product dossier​.”

Meanwhile, Seth Roberts, policy manager at non-profit think tank the Good Food Institute (GFI) Europe, welcomed the creation of the survey and said that it would “help lay a solid and evidence-based foundation for regulation of this food in the UK​”.

"We're delighted to see that the FSA is working with the cultivated meat sector to establish a firm understanding of the global ecosystem to develop a future-proof regulatory pathway for cultivated meat in the UK,” ​continued Roberts.

"We advise any companies working on cultivated meat to make sure their perspectives are represented by taking part in the survey​."

In other news, the FSA has named Timothy Riley as its new deputy chair.

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