DeSantis signs bill to keep lab-grown meat out of Florida

At least seven states have considered bills so far in 2024, citing a threat to current agricultural economies.

Ann Hess, Content Director

May 1, 2024

2 Min Read
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Florida has become the first state in the nation to ban the sale of lab-grown meat. On Wednesday, Governor Ron DeSantis officially signed the bill into law, saying the action is intended to "stop the World Economic Forum’s goal of forcing the world to eat lab-grown meat and insects, 'an overlooked source of protein.'” Instead the state will be "increasing meat production, and encouraging residents to continue to consume and enjoy 100% real Florida beef."

“Today, 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,”  said DeSantis.  “Our administration will continue to focus on investing in our local farmers and ranchers, and we will save our beef.”

“Florida is taking a tremendous step in the right direction by signing first-in-the-nation legislation banning lab-grown meat. We must protect our incredible farmers and the integrity of American agriculture. Lab-grown meat is a disgraceful attempt to undermine our proud traditions and prosperity, and is in direct opposition to authentic agriculture,” said Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson.

“I applaud Governor DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, House Speaker Paul Renner, Senator Jay Collins, and Representative Danny Alvarez for standing up for Florida’s farmers and consumers. Together, we will keep Florida’s agricultural industry strong and thriving.”

In addition to SB 1084, and in opposition to the World Economic Forum, Florida is also supporting the state’s agriculture and meat industry by:

  • Modernizing Florida’s Right to Farm Act to protect reasonable agricultural activities from frivolous lawsuits.

  • Signing legislation to ensure that agri-tourism operators qualify for protection against property tax assessments when operating on agricultural lands.

  • Simplifying the steps for Florida farmers to receive sales tax exemptions for agricultural materials.

  • Reestablishing funding for the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program in 2022 at $300 million.

  • Protecting through that program over 36,000 acres of farmland.

  • Investing more than $2.8 billion into Florida’s agricultural industry in The Framework for Freedom Budget.

Domestic and international legislation

At least seven states have considered bills so far in 2024 to ban the sale, production or distribution of lab-grown meat, including Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Tennessee and Texas.

Globally, the Italian parliament has banned the technology from their country. The bill is similar to one proposed in France, and Austria and Croatia may soon follow suit. 

Realities of lab-grown meat

In December the Center for the Environment and Welfare announced the launch of a new television commercial to educate the public about the technology behind lab-grown meat, which is approved for sale in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration. 

"The lab-grown meat sector will continue to face skepticism as consumers learn more about the chemicals, growth factors, and 'immortalized cells' used in manufacturing," said CEW Executive Director Jack Hubbard. "Our campaign aims to help the public learn the truth behind this experimental product, how it's made, and the lack of long-term nutritional and health studies." 

About the Author(s)

Ann Hess

Content Director, National Hog Farmer

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