The future of meat needs a name

The federal government is delving into one of the biggest questions around meat that is grown from cells, rather than harvested from slaughtered animals: What should we call it?

Why it matters: Meat grown from cells promises to be a sustainable and slaughter-free source of protein, but beyond reducing costs, companies in the space need to earn consumer acceptance — and what we call it will matter.

  • The labeling question is an important one, as demonstrated by the years-long struggle over what foods that include genetically modified ingredients should be called, and the ongoing legal battles over labeling for plant-based alternative protein products.

What’s happening: Earlier this month, the USDA issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to “request comments pertaining to the labeling of meat and poultry products comprised of or containing cultured cells derived from animals.”

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