KCA Board Approves Measure Defining Beef & Meat

Kansas Cattlemen’s Association (KCA) Board of Directors has adopted policy regarding protein alternatives known as lab-grown. Whereas, lab grown product from animal cells, also known as “in vitro,” “bio meat,” “clean meat,” or “cultured meat,” is a second category of non-beef product that is in development.

Though lab grown product currently relies on animal cells, a totally synthetic substitute is being developed, which will cater to vegans. In KCA’s view, such artificially created products, regardless of whether derived from animal cells, should not be permissibly labeled as “beef,” which is widely understood to be a derivative of cattle harvested in the traditional manner. Though lab grown product is not yet available in restaurants or at the retail level, its development has been backed by prominent investors like Tyson and Cargill Inc. and, consequently, the cost of the lab grown product is becoming more commercially feasible.

The “beef” and “meat” labels should inform consumers that the products are from animals harvested in the traditional manner, as opposed to derived from alternative proteins or artificially grown in laboratories. As such, the definitions of “beef” and “meat” should be limited to animals born, raised, and processed in the traditional manner, regardless of the country of origin. Synthetic products and products grown in labs from animal cells should thus not qualify to be labeled as “beef” or as “meat.”

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