'Take Your Fake Lab-Grown Meat Elsewhere': DeSantis Wages War on Cultivated Meat With New Bill

'Take Your Fake Lab-Grown Meat Elsewhere': DeSantis Wages War on Cultivated Meat With New Bill

DeSantis accuses proponents of lab-grown meat of wanting to eliminate cattle and chickens as he signs a ban on the popular process

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
May 1, 2024

HARDEE COUNTY, FL—Governor Ron DeSantis publicly signed a controversial bill Wednesday morning banning lab-grown meat, an action that critics say will stifle innovation.

Republican-led bill SB 1084 bans cultivated—or lab-grown—meat from being sold or manufactured in Florida, imposing a second-degree misdemeanor for violators.

DeSantis says the bill keeps a "vibrant agricultural industry", excoriating the "elites" who blame climate change on meat production, saying, "What we're protecting here is the industry against acts of man, against an ideological agenda that wants to finger agriculture as the problem, that uses things like raising cattle as destroying our climate,"

"This will be people who will lecture the rest of us about things like global warming, they will say you can't drive an internal combustion vehicle, they will say agriculture is bad, meanwhile, they're flying to Davos in their private jets," he continued, referencing political leaders flying to Davos for the World Economic Forum in 2022.

He then claimed lab-grown meat plays into a future "social credit" system in which "if you believe in agriculture, you will be marked down."

The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization estimated that beef production in 2010 accounted for around 7% of the total global greenhouse gas emissions for that year—or about 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide.

A private jet, meanwhile, can emit two tons of carbon dioxide in an hour, equivalent to a few months of an average person's greenhouse gas emissions, the European NGO Transport and Environment reported.

Aviation accounts for just 2.8% of total carbon dioxide emissions, though a disproportionate 1% of the total global population is responsible for 50% of carbon dioxide emitted by commercial aviation.

"This is really a vision of imposing restrictions on freedoms for everyday people while these elites are effectively pulling the strings, calling the shots, and doing whatever the hell they want to do in their own lives," DeSantis continued. "They want to eliminate meat, they want to eliminate cattle, they want to eliminate chickens, and they want to create protein in laboratories...they want to phase [meat] out."

"The bill that I'm going to sign today is going to say take you fake lab-grown meat elsewhere," DeSantis added.

Critics of the bill say it will stifle innovation in Florida, sending a "bad message" to researchers and investors, and prevent viable alternatives to the meat industry.

"My concern is the message we’re sending to businesses, to new technologies that are looking for a new place to invest in this country and that they might not look at the state of Florida,” Democratic Rep. Christine Hunschofsky said during the session. “Every time we’re changing the goalposts. We’re acting from a place of fear, as opposed to a place of fostering a spirit of innovation.”

Florida now joins Italy in banning lab-grown meat. Similar proposals also exist in Alabama, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Tennessee.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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