Politics & Law

UK Food Standards Agency to Survey Cultivated Meat Manufacturers as It Considers Regulatory Changes

The UK’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) has issued a survey to cultivated meat manufacturers in the country as it considers making changes to regulatory policies.

As reported by Food Manufacture, the survey aims to determine when companies will seek regulatory approval and what technologies they are using. The FSA is now welcoming applications for cultivated meat products, after it was announced in October that ministers and regulators were looking to accelerate the approval process for these foods. It is hoped that the industry could help the UK meet its sustainability targets, along with boosting food security.

The FSA will present possibilities for a new streamlined regulatory approval system at its meeting on March 20. Since the UK is no longer in the EU, it will be possible to alter the Novel Foods Regulatory Framework in ways that promote innovation.

This may involve setting up a “cultivated meat sandbox” to enable dialogue between companies and regulators, in line with recommendations from a 2022 report by the Alternative Proteins Association.

Image courtesy of Uncommon

Balancing technology and public health

The news comes less than two months after the UK government unveiled its National Vision for Engineering Biology, a £2 billion plan to revolutionise food production and more through biotech. The plan includes cultivated meat and fermentation, among other activities.

“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,” said Natasha Smith, Deputy Director of Food Policy at the FSA.

”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.”




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