The Meat of the Matter: Regulating a Laboratory-Grown Alternative

Taylor A. Mayhall


As consumer demand for meat increases and available land decreases, alternative options like laboratory-grown meat become more appealing. Companies like Memphis Meats and Mosa Meat hope to stock grocery store shelves with their labgrown meat products within the next five years. Investors have recently shown their avid interest in the concept, particularly for environmental, public health, and animal welfare reasons. But American meat trade associations and lobbying groups are expressing concern about how such a new product will be regulated. This paper explains the need for lab-grown meat and the basic science behind its creation. It explores whether the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) or the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) would be a more appropriate regulatory tool. This paper ultimately advocates that the United States Department of Agriculture, rather than the Food and Drug Administration, is the proper regulator.