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Cell-based food and precision fermentation – Products, safety and the future role

Stakeholder roundtable meeting report, Shanghai, China, 6 November 2023








FAO. 2024. Cell-based food and precision fermentation – Products, safety and the future role. Stakeholder roundtablemeeting report, Shanghai, China, 6 November 2023. Rome.



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    Document
    Stakeholder roundtable meeting on Cell-based food production and precision fermentation
    Call for presenters
    2023
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), in collaboration with the China National Center for Food Safety Risk assessment (CFSA) is organizing a one-day global stakeholder roundtable meeting on the topic of cell-based food production and precision fermentation on Monday, 6 November 2023 at Le Sun Chine, Shanghai, 6, Lane 1220, Hua Shan Rd, New Hongqiao Commercial Center and Changning, China.
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    Booklet
    Food safety aspects of cell-based food
    Report of the publication launch webinar, 7 April 2023
    2024
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    The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) held a webinar to launch the publication entitled “Food safety aspects of cell-based food” published in April 2023. The webinar was attended by a total of 1 015 participants from more than 75 countries.Cell-based food production involves culturing animal cells in a controlled environment to produce various types of food products. As this technology is constantly evolving, it is important for food safety authorities to keep up with science in order to understand how the products are developed and what food safety considerations are relevant when taking regulatory actions. The webinar included a lecture on the subject by the chairperson of the FAO-led expert consultation, who introduced the contents of the FAO/WHO publication and presented the results of the first global food safety hazard identification of cell-based food. Experts reported that most of the hazards identified were common to conventional food products and emphasized the importance for food safety competent authorities to focus on the materials, inputs and equipment specific to cell-based food production.Two regulatory experts from the governments of Singapore and Qatar took part in the webinar to introduce the case studies of their respective countries’ regulatory frameworks. These case studies illustrated the commonly held idea that a food safety assessment is one of the first steps within the regulatory frameworks presented in the case studies, despite the fact that other elements within the framework may be different. This was borne out by subsequent panel discussions with six panellists from Argentina, Australia, Qatar, Singapore, the United States of America and Zambia who all concurred that a food safety assessment provides a crucial starting point. All panellists emphasized the importance of the FAO/WHO publication as an invaluable source of technical information in this regard, particularly as it lists potential hazards that regulators can draw on. The publication also contains vital information on nomenclature and useful advice on ways to effectively communicate this topic to the public.The webinar included an interactive discussion session with the participants, during which basic food safety and regulatory questions were raised. FAO and WHO concluded the webinar with the offer to provide technical assistance to those countries in need of it.
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    Booklet
    Cell-based food in the context of the Near East region
    Report of the side event to the 11th Session of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for Near East (CCNE11), Rome, Italy, 21 September 2023
    2024
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    On 21 September 2023, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) held a hybrid meeting as a side event to the 11th Session of the FAO/WHO Coordinating Committee for the Near East (CCNE11) in Rome, Italy, on the topic of food safety of cell-based food within the context of the Near East region. A total of 53 participants attended the event, which provided a unique opportunity for the participants to discuss topics relevant to the Codex work as well as to the specific regional context. The event highlighted the international activities that FAO and WHO have conducted so far, and the results of the pre-event survey about current regulatory situations for cell-based food in the region. One of the main outcomes of the discussion was the recognition of the usefulness of information exchange on cell-based food among Codex Members. Many CCNE delegates stated that good public awareness of cell-based food is essential to move forwards. However, they also said that currently, knowledge of cell-based food among the general public is limited. Therefore. provision of accurate scientific information by regulators is foremost necessary and with international technical assistance from FAO and WHO, such science communication will be effective. Several concrete regional collaborative activities, such as regulatory information exchange mechanisms, have been suggested and the meeting was concluded on a positive note.

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