Florida in talks to ban alternative meat - and make it illegal

20 Mar 2024

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Not everyone loves artificial meat – and hey, that's okay, it's a free country!

But believe it or not, Florida is setting out plans to ban plant-based meat alternatives... and not only that, to criminalise them too.

Yup, over the last few months, legislators in the US state have been pushing to outlaw the production and the sale of lab grown meat.

This means traditional veggie burgers and the like would be safe, but cell-cultivated meat would be at risk.

The Congressional Research Service define these products as "developed in a lab, grown from a sample of animal cells that does not require the slaughter of animals."

READ MORE: Twisted tries 'lab grown steak' - here's our review

The vegan meat ban in Florida could be a bold move for the US state (Credit: Getty)

They want to do this by introducing two bills, named HB 1071 and SB 1084.

On February 6th, the bill SB 1084 was passed by the state's House of Representatives, meaning it's hinging on Governor Ron DeSantis' signature.

And DeSantis has previously suggested he's very much in favour of banning artificial meat.

During a visit to South Florida State College Hardee Campus, CBS report he said: "You need meat, okay, and we're going to have meat in Florida.

"We're not going to have fake meat. Like, that doesn't work."

The law would affect cell cultivated meat replacements only (Credit: Getty)

The bill, if signed, would mean that someone who sells, creates or distributes lab cultivated meat in the state could end up with a $500 (£393) fine and 60 days in prison.

Alongside the Florida bill, there's also proposals of legislation to ban cultivated meat in Alabama, Arizona, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Whilst it isn't particularly likely that all these bills would pass, if they did, that could result in 46 million Americans being without cell cultivated meat alternatives, as they begin to develop this technology.

Other countries are still pushing on with lab grown meat (Credit: Getty)

Speaking to Wired, Jessica Almy, senior vice president of policy at the Good Food Institute, said that whilst this kind of alternative meat isn't yet available in Florida, banning it beforehand is "really significant."

“To prohibit a food before it’s on the market for that whole population, before they’ve had a chance to try it and see if they want to buy it, feels absurd,” she said.

Featured image: Getty

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