Cattlemen's Groups Complain White House Biotech EO Promotes Cell-Cultured Food
By Chris Clayton, DTN/Progressive Farmer
When President Joe Biden signed an Executive Order last week on biotechnology and biomanufacturing, the president focused on the prospects to "end cancer as we know it," and also transition toward more renewable energy as a way to combat climate change.
The nation's cattlemen's groups saw some other wording, including "alternative food sources" and "foods made with cultured animal cells."
The cattlemen's groups have some issues with the Biden administration over fake meat grown in a petri dish.
The U.S. Cattlemen's Association (USCA) raised concerns on Friday, pointing to comments from a senior administration official in a press briefing on the Executive Order, who talked about food security. "We're also looking to improve food security and drive agricultural innovation, including through new technologies that protect crops from disease, enhance seeds and fertilizers and foods made with cultured animal cells," the official said.
Brooke Miller, president of USCA, said that comment "flies in the face" of the Biden administration plans to spend $1 billion to help boost independent producers and processors by expanding processing capacity. Incentivizing meat from cell cultures instead helps "support for the massive, multinational corporations" investing in those products.
"The cultivation of animal cells for human consumption does not further the goals of the Biden Administration in supporting independent agricultural producers," Miller said. "Instead, it promotes corporate and consolidated control of the food supply system. Cell-cultured products cannot be independently produced - the technology is shrouded in intellectual property protection and requires intensive capital resources. These factors could lead to the monopolistic control of America's sovereign food supply that we see already today in the U.S. livestock and meat industries."
Miller added, "U.S. taxpayers should not foot the bill for a product that we aren't even sure is safe for human consumption. For these reasons, USCA opposes the provisions of this Executive Order calling for the advancement of foods produced using cell-cultured technology."
On Tuesday, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) caught up. NCBA stated the group is "Extremely Disappointed with White House Biotechnology Executive Order." NCBA, though, highlighted multiple areas where biotechnology is useful for cattle producers.
"We encourage the administration to support the biotechnology innovations already occurring in the cattle industry," said Don Schiefelbein, president NCBA...