USDA this week issued Grants of Inspection (GOI) to Upside Foods and GOOD Meat to begin production and sale of cell-cultured meat products into U.S. commerce.

“It is imperative that cell-cultured products like these be properly regulated, inspected and labeled by both USDA and FDA.  Americans are set to eat a record amount of chicken this year, and we don’t see that demand waning.  I think most Americans want their chicken raised on a farm, not in a laboratory,” said NCC President Mike Brown.

“Based on this review, [USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service] has issued the first three grants of inspection to establishments producing FSIS-regulated products derived from animal cells,” USDA said. “FSIS has also reviewed and approved the labels for their product to ensure that they are truthful and not misleading.”

USDA in November 2022 said it had no further questions about the safety of Upside Foods’ product and approved its label on June 14. USDA then on June 8 said it had no further questions about the safety of GOOD Meat’s product and approved its label.

These steps by USDA follow FDA’s approval of both products in mid-November 2022. FDA shares regulatory jurisdiction of these products as outlined in a joint FDA-USDA Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dated to March 2019, which stated that FDA would oversee the cell collection, cell banks, cell growth, and cell differentiation processes, while USDA would take over during the cell harvest stage. USDA then would oversee post-harvest processing and labeling.

In addition to USDA’s approval of Upside Foods’ and GOOD Meat’s labels, the department is working on a regulation that could create a process by which future labels for cell-cultured meat products would be evaluated.

With all approvals for these two products completed, Upside Foods has said it will partner with Bar Crenn in San Francisco, CA, for commercial sale, while GOOD Meat will work with Chef Jose Andres to distribute product to one of his restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area.