Senate passes ban on sale of cultivated meat
Good Meats cultivated chicken. Image via AP.

Cultivated chicken
The legislation still allows research into the field, but Republicans rejected a 5-year sunset on the ban.

Senators voted to make Florida the first state to ban the sale of lab-grown meat. But a majority rejected a proposal to put a five-year sunset on that restriction.

As lawmakers debated an agriculture package (SB 1084) on the floor, Republican Sen. Jay Collins said he doesn’t think cultured meat products will be ready for consumption anytime soon.

“We need more time than five years,” the Tampa Republican said.

The measure ultimately passed on a 26-10 vote, but only after a few delays to work out concerns elsewhere in the legislative package. All votes against the bill came from Democrats. But Senators did approve a Democratic amendment establishing rule-making authority in a preemption of local regulations on electric vehicle charging stations.

But the bulk of debate surrounded the ban on cellular agriculture.

Republicans in the House and Senate did agree to allow scientific research in the burgeoning field. That should allow Florida programs already in place at NASA and multiple state universities to continue.

Regardless, critics of the bill fear such a ban on commercial cultivation will have a chilling effect on a field still in its infancy.

“There will not be companies that come to the state of Florida to do this research,” said Sen. Tina Polsky, a Boca Raton Democrat.

Biotech investors in sustainable foods have lobbied legislative leaders and Gov. Ron DeSantis on the matter, saying a ban would have economic consequences and compromise food security.

But traditional agriculture advocates have urged extreme caution. The Florida Cattlemen’s Association and other organizations representing Florida farmers say lab-grown meats should not be considered meat, and that far more research must be done before consumers should be allowed to eat it.

Companies producing meat now have spoken at legislative committees throughout Session saying their products are neither unsafe nor a threat to traditional farming. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration have both approved lab-grown white meat already.

But its availability remains limited in the U.S. Only two restaurants in the country, one in San Francisco and one in Washington, D.C., sell the product.

Opponents of the bill also say the legislation would hurt research in allied countries like Israel, where the government has already approved cultivated beef products. Meanwhile, it would aid countries like China, which is making a concerted effort right now to expand its own efforts in the field.

A companion bill (HB 1071) awaits being heard on the House floor. But that has none of the new language about electric vehicle regulations.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 5:35 pm

    …because it’s WITCHCRAFT! Obviously. A(nother) ban is insufficient, however. They must burn the witches.

    ..which is pretty hilarious given how Dear Leader hisself claims to be the subject of an infinite witch hunt.

    He claims witch hunt even though everybody knows he’s just right there at Maga Lardo just about all the time.

    Since everyone knows where he stay, but nobody has weighed him against a duck as of yet, I am not real sure anybody is really hunting him as if he were a witch.

    Perhaps it’s just regular normal everyday criminal prosecutions of a common criminal.

  • Federal Prison Florida SuperMax

    February 29, 2024 at 6:16 pm

    I know a proprietor of over 50 Dunkin’ outlets along I-10 and they use plant based sausage which I loved.

  • JD

    February 29, 2024 at 7:11 pm

    Most of the meat packing companies are owned by China and other foreign nationals, so sure, let’s make it so we all must eat plant based or mercury filled fish when they cut us off.

    F@cking amatuer hour again. Who let these assh0les into government anyway?

  • Impeach Biden

    February 29, 2024 at 9:15 pm

    The Free State of Florida.

Comments are closed.


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