Legislature passes ban on cultivated meat
Cultivated meat. Image via AP.

cultivated meat
GOP lawmakers argued that 'real meat is made by God himself.'

The Legislature just passed the nation’s first complete ban on the sale of lab-grown meat.

The House passed an agriculture bill (SB 1084) that includes a prohibition on the commercial distribution of cultivated meat, though it will allow scientific research in the burgeoning field.

“If you believe that we are doing this because we know that Florida’s agriculture can hold us down and provides plenty of safe quality beef and agricultural products, you are absolutely correct,” said Rep. Danny Alvarez, a Tampa Republican carrying the bill who insists on calling the lab product “cultivated protein” and not “meat.”

Critics note that the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Food and Drug Administration has approved the meat for use. It can be purchased in two restaurants in San Francisco and Washington, D.C.

But Alvarez raised online theories pushed by Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo suggesting that federally approved COVID-19 vaccines hurt the public.

“How short our memories are,” he said. “Just recently we went through, ‘Trust the government. It’s safe.’ And as we watch people die from myocardial infarctions and we watch cardiac events and we watch the litany of side effects hit us from what the government said is safe, you turn to me and say, ‘Trust, don’t verify.’”

But many Democrats voted down on the bill on grounds it will stifle innovation based on protectionism and fear.

“There is nothing at all showing that this meat, that is biologically the same as the meat from the cow that we know, today is any less safe,” said Christine Hunschofsky, a Parkland Democrat. “In fact, there is some evidence that it might even be more safe because of the way it is processed.”

Biotech investors heavily lobbied lawmakers to shoot down the ban on cultured meat, noting a ban on sale will limit the capital available for research.

But the ban was supported by Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson and by traditional agriculture advocates like the Florida Cattlemen’s Association.

Rep. Dean Black, a Jacksonville Republican, said meat from livestock has nutritional value that cannot be replicated in a lab. While it’s fine for astronauts traveling space and someday living on Mars, Black said cultivated meat shouldn’t be consumed anywhere in the country.

“Cultured meat is made by man. Real meat is made by God himself,” Black said. “Me and my earthling friends will eat real meat here on Earth.”

But Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat, said the Legislature was effectively protecting a powerful industry from a non-existent threat.

“I have no doubt that our ag industry, as effective and strong and fantastic as they are, can easily compete with a disruptor like this,” she said.

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].


  • John Lentini

    March 6, 2024 at 1:15 pm

    Brought to you by bribes from the meat industry. Thanks, John Roberts, for legalizing bribery. How else would our esteemed “representatives” know how they are supposed to vote?

  • PeterH

    March 6, 2024 at 2:24 pm

    …… and on the forth day god created cows, pigs and chickens and anyway ….. Adam and Eve were already bored eating apples!

  • Michael K

    March 6, 2024 at 2:58 pm

    What a bunch of morons. “God” did not create Doritos either. When did Florida becomme a theocracy?

  • My Take

    March 6, 2024 at 5:33 pm

    No-Freedom Florida
    Big business buys what it wants.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    March 6, 2024 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you Ron & The Beautiful Casey for saving The Great State of Florida’s Sage Citizenary from being force-fed “Fried Maggot & Feeces Nuggetts Happy Meals”.
    Earl Pitts “Wholesome Food Expert” American

    • JD

      March 6, 2024 at 6:49 pm

      Oh, Earl, your culinary critique of lab-grown meat as “Fried Maggot & Feeces Nuggetts Happy Meals” is a Michelin-star-worthy misinterpretation of science.

      Cultured meat, contrary to your whimsical fear-mongering, promises a future of reduced environmental degradation, sparing millions of animals from slaughter, and cutting back on methane emissions and deforestation.

      But sure, let’s cheer for Ron & The Beautiful Casey for shielding Florida’s sage citizenry from such “horrors,” while conveniently ignoring that the alternative—our current love affair with processed and industrially farmed meats—is contributing to a real-life dystopia of climate change and health crises.

      Your title as a “Wholesome Food Expert” must come with a side of satire, as it seems you’re championing the cause of environmental degradation and animal cruelty, all wrapped up in a greasy package of traditional values. Bravo, Earl, for missing the forest for the…nuggets.

      • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

        March 6, 2024 at 6:57 pm

        NEWS FLASH “Dook 4 Brains JD”,
        These words of Sage Truth and Wisdom have been brought to you by ME, Earl Pitts American,

        • JD

          March 6, 2024 at 7:06 pm

          Earl, slapping me with “Dook 4 Brains JD” and dubbing climate change a hoax screams of willful ignorance, especially ludicrous post-Hurricane Ian’s rampage through Florida and Fiona’s havoc. Flaunting your “Sage Truth and Wisdom” badge while blatantly dismissing the brutal, undeniable aftermath of these storms as mere coincidences is laughably absurd. Your stance doesn’t just spit in the face of scientific consensus; it’s a dangerous cocktail of denial and arrogance, threatening real lives with your blissful dance in fantasy.

        • JD

          March 6, 2024 at 7:08 pm

          And don’t you have something to do? If needed, I’ll be your huckle barrier.

          • JD

            March 6, 2024 at 7:08 pm


        • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

          March 6, 2024 at 7:10 pm

          …. And Further More, JD, I, Earl Pitts American, am reviewing your UN-SAGE post of mumbo-jumbo Fake Sciency Mis-Direction for possable Blastaphmy of The Sage Names of The Ronald and The Beautiful Casey DeSantis.
          If found guilty you will be subject to one of Earl Pitts American’s Most Severe and Painfull Chastizements.
          JD it looks like your BIG MOUTH is writing checks that your NARROW BUTT cant cash.
          BE ASHAMED,
          Earl Pitts American

          • JD

            March 6, 2024 at 7:14 pm

            Earl, your crusade to defend “The Ronald and The Beautiful Casey DeSantis” while turning a blind eye to the Florida GOP’s shameful use of “groomer” accusations against educators, amidst their own ranks’ scandals, reeks of hypocrisy, not humility. Your threats of “Severe and Painful Chastizements” are as empty as your understanding of scientific integrity and moral consistency.

  • Joe

    March 6, 2024 at 6:59 pm

    “GOP lawmakers argued that ‘real meat is made by God himself.’”

    So is God the farmer, the butcher, or the chef here? Because it seems just so obvious to me, the big guy made lab meat just like he made cows and chicken and fish and tofu candy and hot pockets. If these paid-off liars ever even thought about God in their real lives, they’d realize He made all of this.

    • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

      March 6, 2024 at 7:18 pm

      Wrong Fake Joe,
      Fake Meat is made by evil leftists who want to put mind control drugs into your body and make you believe your crazy talk mumbo-jumbo fake sciencey lies, damn lies, and statistics.
      Earl Pitts American

      • rick whitaker's

        March 6, 2024 at 7:23 pm


        • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

          March 6, 2024 at 7:28 pm

          Thanks Rick for your Wacky Leftist commentary follow-ups to my Sage Wisdom. You are my March, 2024 SAGE EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH!!!
          Keep up the great work Rick,
          Earl Pitts “Rick’s Beloved Employer” Anerican

          • rick whitaker's

            March 7, 2024 at 6:39 pm

            earl, hit on somebody else you pervert. i don’t want to come to that party at your house. it smells like 82 year old man piss. people talk about it behind your back.

      • JD

        March 6, 2024 at 7:26 pm

        Oh, Earl, or should we say Shitts, your flair for the dramatic misses the mark again.

        Memphis Meats, Upside Foods, and Eat Just are leading the lab-grown meat dance, not cooking up mind control schemes in a leftist cauldron (and none are “to market”). These companies are pioneering sustainable eating, not dabbling in the dark arts.

        So while you’re conjuring conspiracy theories, they’re busy saving the planet one steak at a time. Maybe focus on the real science before jumping into your next spy novel plot, Shitts.

      • rick whitaker's

        March 7, 2024 at 9:06 am

        earl, in your post you made a clerical error. you said evil lefties and you meant to say evil righties (trumpers). don’t be ashamed, it is common to reverse things inadvertently. at 82 you’re lucky to still be living. enjoy your last days, just try to be more civil to the rest of us. i have been eating fake meat for 55 years now. i’m in excellent shape and never get sick. i’ve raised 8 kids on fake meat and they are all healthy too. so you people stuck in the past caln ignore the healthy food and keep eating dead diseased animals. there is nothing us healthy thinking modern people can do to stop you from hurting yourself. earl, face it, you missed the boat. you are a stubborn redneck stuck in the past ,doomed to be a hater. i can’ do nothing for you, you are too stubborn to teach.

  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    March 6, 2024 at 7:24 pm

    Sorry JD, but I, Earl Pitts American, have “Dismissed You” and am busy Chastizing this “Fake Joe Dude” now.
    I will get back to you later JD.
    Thank you JD,
    Earl Pitts American

    • JD

      March 6, 2024 at 7:30 pm

      Oh, Earl, or as you’re now fondly dubbed, the master of dismissal Shitts, your eagerness to “Dismiss” and chase after “Fake Joe Dude” is more about a theatrical retreat into the comforting arms of cognitive dissonance.

      It seems the headache isn’t from the imagined high ground of your chastisements but from the gymnastics your mind performs to sidestep the reality of engaging in a meaningful discourse.

      So, take your time with “Fake Joe,” Earl. We’ll be here, patiently awaiting your grand return, perhaps when your cognitive dissonance subsides enough for a real conversation.

      Thanks for the chuckle, Earl Shitts American.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn