OMB reviewing labeling documents

June 20, 2024

The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing two regulatory documents that could affect how labeling rules apply to products that compete with animal-based foods, including eggs.

One is a proposed rule from the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) entitled “Labeling of Meat and Poultry Products Made Using Animal Cell Culture Technology.” FSIS and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) share jurisdiction over cell-cultured products¸ with the USDA agency responsible from “harvest” onward. FSIS says it “has determined that new regulatory requirements for labeling are necessary to ensure that cell-cultured meat and poultry products are truthfully and accurately labeled.”

A major issue in the proposed rule is expected to be what the new products can be called. Consumer studies have shown that people are better able to understand the products’ nature if a phrase involving the word “cell,” such as “cell-cultured meat,” is used.

The second document under OMB review has more immediate relevance to products now in the marketplace. It is called “Labeling of Plant-Based Alternatives to Animal-Derived Foods: Draft Guidance for Industry” and was prepared by FDA. Because it will be published as a draft, the public will have a chance to comment on the document’s contents. The guidance will be relevant to plant-based egg imitators that often use the word “egg” on their label even though they do not contain eggs.