The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced plans to hold a meeting on 12 July to gather input from the food industry regarding the safety of lab-grown or cultured meats.

The lab-grown meat is made by harvesting animal cells to produce beef, poultry and seafood products.

Startup companies such as Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies have garnered the interest of investors such as Tyson Foods and Cargill, reported Seattletimes.com.

The meeting is expected to include a discussion related to the safety of the technology and labelling aspects.

"The agency intends to ‘share our initial thinking for how we intend to appropriately apply our existing regulatory tools and policies to this novel area of technology’."

There is also a debate regarding which agency, the FDA or USDA, should be responsible for regulating lab-grown meat.

FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb and deputy commissioner Anna Abram said that the agency intends to ‘share our initial thinking for how we intend to appropriately apply our existing regulatory tools and policies to this novel area of technology’.

Investors recently injected $3.5m into San Francisco-based company Wild Type, which intends to produce lab-grown salmon products.

In addition, the US Cattlemen’s Association filed a petition with the USDA earlier this year, which requested that the agency only allow meat sourced from animals to be labelled as beef or meat, reported Bloomberg.

Companies engaged in the production of cultured meat will need to find another label for their products if the FDA rules in favour of the association.

FDA previously gave its approval for the development of genetically altered meat in 2015 by enabling AquaBounty Technologies to sell genetically engineered salmon.

Genetically engineering salmon grows faster than naturally sourced salmon.

However, Congress compelled the FDA to impose a ban on imported products of this kind from Canada and Panama until the final labelling rules are published, which is yet to be completed.