Cattle futures, led by Feeder Cattle, mostly softened Thursday, with no change in fundamentals but uncertainty surrounding the level of cash fed cattle trade this week in terms of both volume and price.
Except for 7¢ higher in spot Oct, Live Cattle futures closed an average of 78¢ lower (52¢ to $1.27 lower).
Feeder Cattle futures closed an average of $1.38 lower (65¢ to $2.30 lower).
Wholesale beef values were firm to higher on moderate to fairly good demand and light offerings, according to the Agricultural Marketing Service.
Choice boxed beef cutout value was $1.71 higher Thursday afternoon at $213.10/cwt. Select was 49¢ higher at $198.31.
Major U.S. financial indices surged on Thursday, recovering a fair portion of the previous session’s steep losses. Support was attributed to mainly oversold conditions, as well as positive quarterly earnings from folks like Microsoft and Amazon.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 401 points higher. The S&P 500 closed 49 points higher. The NASDAQ was up 209 points.
Another chapter in the regulation of fake meat unfolded the past couple of days at a joint public meeting hosted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The meeting—Use of Animal Cell Culture Technology to Develop Products Derived from Livestock and Poultry—included discussions about the safety and marketing of cell-based fake meat, as well as which agency will ultimately have regulatory control.
The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) continued to argue that the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has primary jurisdiction for regulation of new cell-based meat products.
FSIS oversight includes the USDA mark of inspection, providing consumer confidence that a product has been deemed wholesome by the agency.
Likewise, Jennifer Houston, president-elect of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) explained, “Ensuring lab-grown fake meat products are subject to strong, daily inspection by USDA’s trained professionals is essential. The health of consumers is on the line, and USDA is far better suited to ensure the safety of lab-grown products.”
Mark Dopp, NAMI senior vice president of Regulatory and Scientific Affairs, also detailed the importance and benefits of USDA’s label approval process, which protects companies from frivolous lawsuits and gives consumers confidence that products are accurately labeled and not represented to be something they are not.
“USDA can be trusted to enforce truthful, transparent labeling of the products under its jurisdiction,” explained Kevin Kester, NCBA president. “Beef producers welcome competition, but product labels and marketing must be based on sound science, not the misleading claims of anti-animal agriculture activists.”