USA, Washington. Northern Montanan rancher and United States Cattlemen’s Association (USCA) Board Member Maggie Nutter testified before the Food and Drug Administration at a public meeting held to discuss Foods Produced Using Cell Culture Technology. The meeting was convened by FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition to hear more from stakeholders on the use of animal cell culture technology as a method of food production, inclduing the manufacturing of laboratory-grown protein, or “fake meat”.
As the only producer voice in the room, Mrs. Nutter stood up for U.S.A. beef and USCA's nationwide membership of cow-calf producers, backgrounders, feedlot operators, and livestock haulers.
At the public meeting, the Board Member stressed the importance of labels that differentiated lab-grown protein from traditional beef products: “The United States Cattlemen’s Association has always been a strong advocate for truth and transparency in labeling. We believe that the term ‘meat’ pertains exclusively to a protein food product that was harvested from the flesh of an animal in the traditional manner. Cultured cell proteins would not be included in this definition.
As a cattle rancher, the term ‘beef” is very important to me. Every time a cow is sold or changes ownership, a mandatory dollar is collected and placed in the Beef Check Off fund. When you hear ‘Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner
’, you are hearing the marketing that millions of Check-Off dollars paid for.
When other products use the term meat or beef they are taking advantage of the years of hard work the Beef Check-Off program has put in building beef’s good reputation. They are hijacking our trademark branding for the benefit of their own marketing. As ranchers, we don’t want anything that isn’t beef to be called beef or to use terms connected to meat.”