CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming’s United States Senator joined Montana’s U.S. Senator Jon Tester to introduce legislation aiming to modernize food safety laws on Monday, Dec. 16.
Enzi’s office says that the legislation “would cement into law how government agencies regulate food produced using animal cell-culture technology.”
Such technology aims to grow animal tissue meant for human consumption using animal cell cultures in laboratories and Enzi’s office says commercialization of such technology could be around the corner.
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“The legislation would ensure that an agreement reached earlier this year between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would have the force of law,” the release adds. “This agreement was designed to leverage the expertise of both agencies to protect the country’s food supply and help ensure safe and accurately-labeled products.”
“For food products derived from livestock or poultry cells, the agreement – which this legislation would codify – charges FDA with overseeing the process of multiplying collected cells to make tissue and USDA with overseeing processing, packaging and labeling. For products not derived from livestock or poultry cells, FDA would oversee all phases of development and production.”
Enzi says the legislation is necessary so that regulation stays up to date with the latest technologies.
“Emerging technologies may reshape the food industry in the coming years,” Enzi said. “Existing food safety laws were drafted long before these technologies were contemplated. Our legislation would create an up-to-date framework in law so agencies appropriately work together to ensure folks know what they are eating and that it is safe.”
The release cites Tester as saying the bill would benefit consumers.
“Americans shouldn’t have to guess what they are buying at the grocery store checkout line,” said Tester. “We need to make sure these products are clearly labeled for consumers so folks can make informed choices about what they’re feeding their families.”