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Florida Republican proposes bill to ban sale, distribution of lab-grown meat in the state

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida House Republican Ryler Sirois introduced a new bill on Monday, aiming to make it illegal to manufacture, sell, hold, or distribute lab-grown meat within the state.

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The proposed legislation (HB 435) defines lab-grown meat, also known as cultivated meat, as “any meat or food product produced from cultured animal cells.”

In contrast to plant-based meat alternatives such as Beyond Meat or Impossible Burger, lab-grown meat involves the cultivation of animal cells in steel tanks, utilizing cells from a living animal, a fertilized egg, and a bank of stored cells.

The bill states that it would become “unlawful for any person to manufacture. sell, hold, or offer for sell, or distribute cultivated meat in this state.”

Individuals found violating the proposed law would reportedly face a misdemeanor of the second degree, accompanied by a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000 under section 775.082 or section 775.083.

Additionally, the license of any restaurant, store, or business found in violation could be immediately suspended or issued an immediate stop-sale order.

The legislation mandates that any entity looking to sell lab-grown meat in the state must obtain future authorization from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, allowing the department to adopt rules governing the use of lab-grown meat in the state.

READ: ‘Seismic’: FDA says company’s laboratory-grown meat safe to eat

This move follows the recent approval by federal regulators of lab-grown chicken sales in the United States, a breakthrough that marked the nation’s first approved “lab-grown” meat.

However, it is important to note that, as of now, no company in the U.S. is currently selling or distributing lab-grown meat products.

If signed into law, the proposed bill is set to take effect in July 2024, impacting the potential entry of lab-grown meat into the Florida market.

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William Clayton

William Clayton, Action News Jax

Digital reporter and content creator for Action News Jax

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