Florida's lab-grown meat ban: Implications for future food tech

Steak and Herbs by Jez Timms is licensed under unsplash.com

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill Wednesday banning and criminalizing the manufacture and sale of lab-grown meat in the state. 

The legislation joins similar efforts from three other states — Alabama, Arizona and Tennessee — that have also looked to stop the sale of lab-grown meat, which is believed to still be years away from commercial viability.

“Florida is fighting back against the global elite’s plan to force the world to eat meat grown in a petri dish or bugs to achieve their authoritarian goals,” DeSantis said. “We will save our beef.”

Lab-grown meat, also known as cultivated meat, has attracted considerable attention in recent years as startups have raised millions of dollars to improve the technology meant to create a climate-friendly alternative to traditional meat sources. Cultivated meat is usually grown in a metal vessel from a sample of animal cells. They multiply in a container called a bioreactor while being fed with water, amino acids, vitamins and lipids — a process that can be difficult to do at scales large enough to create enough food for commercial sale.

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