Photo: Getty Images/pchyburrs

The Department of Agriculture and the FDA reached a "formal agreement" on Thursday to regulate cell-cultured meat grown in lab settings, the AP reports.

Why it matters: If cell-cultured meat companies want to use their products to eliminate animal cruelty in factories, feed a growing population and combat climate change — as they keep claiming it can — they need consumers to be able to trust their food, which can only happen if it's regulated like any other food product.

The bottom line: Regulators met in November to determine how the government would safely produce and define cell-cultured meat products, resolving that "human food products derived from the cells of livestock and poultry” will be safely produced, inspected and appropriately labeled for mass consumption, comparable to the practice for traditional meat-processing operations.

Details: Per the agreement, the FDA will regulate “cell collection, cell banks, and cell growth and differentiation,” followed by the cell harvesting process, for which the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) will take over to govern production and labeling.

What to watch: It remains unclear how, specifically, the USDA will label cell-cultured meat, but the final decision could overrule some state laws that currently prohibit the food to just be labeled as "meat." Per the AP, these lab-grown products will likely be unable to use terms like “ground beef” or “hamburger.”

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.