Banning Lab-Grown Meat to be Considered by the Florida Legislature

Banning Lab-Grown Meat to be Considered by the Florida Legislature

Mateo Guillamont
Mateo Guillamont
|
November 29, 2023

Florida Senator Clay Yarborough (R) has filed a bill that would prohibit the sale or production of lab-grown, i.e., cultivated, meat in Florida. 

Cultivated meat refers to the process of harnessing technology to grow animal cells into edible muscle and fat tissue. 

The innovative product has taken the meat industry by surprise and disrupted markets by potentially creating a new significant source of competition for traditional meat suppliers.

Cultivated meat also complies with many of the Equity, Structure, and Governance (ESG) standards pushed by progressives mandating companies adopt eco-friendly and equitable practices.

However, Senator Yarborough’s bill would make selling or producing cultivated meat anywhere in Florida a second degree misdemeanor punishable by up to $500 and 60 days in prison. 

According to the Florida Beef Council, nearly one-half of all Florida Agricultural land is involved in livestock, namely, cattle production.

The Florida Department of Agriculture approximates beef cattle sales and sales of breeding stock generate a total economic impact of nearly $1 billion annually for Florida. Cultivated meat could threaten these profits.

As of 2022, the Good Food Institute has reported a whopping $3 billion in investments towards firms working to develop and sell cultivated meat. 

Notwithstanding the excitement around cultivated meat, some scientists are recommending caution due to potential adverse health impacts from abnormal animal cell development. 

Researchers from the Quest International Journal of Medical and Health Sciences suggest cultivated meat’s long-term effect on humans could be negative.

Additionally, they claim cultivated meat is also expected to consume higher energy and produce more carbon dioxide than the livestock industry. 

Cultivated meat would surpass animal agriculture's 14% contribution to the total emission of global greenhouse gases, according to the researchers.

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Mateo Guillamont

Mateo Guillamont

Mateo is a Miami-based political reporter covering national and local politics

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