The Alliance for Meat, Poultry and Seafood Innovation (AMPS Innovation), a coalition representing makers of cell-cultured protein products, and the US seafood trade association the National Fisheries Institute (NFI) jointly called on the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to support requirements for labeling these new products descriptively, accurately and consistently regarding what the products actually are and how they are made.

Based on research by Rutgers professor William Hallman, NFI and AMPS Innovation on Monday urged the FDA to adopt the use of the term “cell-cultured” to support uniform labeling of the products.

The US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the FDA are working together to ensure the safety and labeling of cell-cultured meat, poultry, and seafood products.

FSIS will have oversight of the labeling of cell-cultured meat and poultry, as it does for all meat and poultry sold in the United States, while FDA will oversee the labeling of cell-cultured seafood, as it does for most seafood sold in the United States.

Plant-based Seafood 2020 Report
What are the the threats and opportunities presented by plant-based and cell-based seafood?

In recent years companies making seafood and meat alternatives from animal cells and plant-based ingredients have attracted increasing investment, and many are poised to begin scaling production of these products.

In January, for example, cell-based seafood group BlueNalu closed $60 million (€49.5 million) in debt financing, led by venture capital investors and global seafood giant Thai Union, among others.

In addition to Thai Union's investment, the new financing round included fresh investments from Rich Products, the owner of frozen seafood maker SeaPak, and Syngenta, a $23 billion (€19 billion) Swiss agricultural giant.

Along with the burgeoning plant-based alternative protein market, cell-cultured products present a potential challenge for traditional seafood sellers, many of whom are concerned that improper labeling will mislead consumers.