Cultivated meat products are one step closer to entering the U.S. market. Companies UPSIDE Foods and GOOD Meat both recently announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) gave them a Grant of Inspection (GOI) and label approval to sell cultivated chicken.
Under a March 2019 formal agreement, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agreed to a joint regulatory framework wherein FDA oversees cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation. A transition from FDA to FSIS oversight will take place during the cell harvest stage. FSIS will oversee the post-harvest processing and labeling of human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry.
In November 2022, FDA responded to UPSIDE Foods’ premarket consultation submission with a “no questions” letter, and did the same for GOOD Meat in March 2023. In addition to meeting FDA requirements, including facility registration for the cell culture portion of the production process, firms will need a GOI from FSIS for the manufacturing establishment. Additionally, the food itself requires a mark of inspection from FSIS before it can enter the U.S. market.
UPSIDE Foods can now begin commercial production at its Engineering, Production, and Innovation Center (EPIC) in Emeryville, California. According to UPSIDE Foods, it began processing its first order of cultivated chicken as soon as the GOI was granted, and it will be first served at restaurant Bar Crenn in San Fransisco, California.
GOOD Meat, which is the first company in the world to have sold cultivated meat products, already sells its chicken products in Singapore, where it was approved for sale in 2020. Immediately after receiving the GOI for its production facility in in Alameda, California, GOOD Meat began production for the first U.S. batch of cultivated chicken, which will be sold to restaurateur Chef José Andrés, owner of José Andrés Group. Andrés operates more than 30 restaurants across the country, and shared that an undisclosed restaurant in Washington, D.C. would be the first in the country to serve GOOD Meat’s cultivated chicken.