Consumers Want “Clear Labels” On Lab-Grown Meat

Consumer Reports survey indicates consumers want clear labels identifying meat produced in the lab from cultured animal cells. ( . )

An overwhelming number of consumers say they want food products developed from cultured animal cells to be clearly labeled as such, according to Consumer Reports.

In a national phone survey conducted during June, Consumer Reports found 49% said lab-grown animal products should be labeled as “meat, but accompanied by an explanation about how it is produced,” while another 40 percent said it should be labeled as “something other than meat.”  Only five percent thought it should be labeled as “meat without any further explanation.”

The survey was released on the same day that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held a public meeting on the safety of these emerging food products.

“By an overwhelming margin, our survey found that consumers want clear labels identifying meat produced in the lab from cultured animal cells,” said Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist for Consumers Union, the advocacy division of Consumer Reports.  “Federal regulators should ensure these emerging food products are clearly labeled so consumers can make informed choices for their families and easily distinguish them from conventional meat.”

In addition, when given a list of seven terms and asked to choose which would constitute accurate labels, the most commonly chosen terms were “lab-grown meat” (35%) and “artificial or synthetic meat” (34%).  The least commonly chosen terms were “cultured meat” (11%), “clean meat” (9%), and “in vitro meat” (8%).

 
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