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Cult Food Science publishes open letter to Florida govt opposing cultured meat ban
Business

Cult Food Science publishes open letter to Florida govt opposing cultured meat ban

Upside Foods' event showcases cell-based meat despite Florida's ban
Meat

Upside Foods' event showcases cell-based meat despite Florida's ban

Alabama House approves ban on cell-based meat
Meat

Alabama House approves ban on cell-based meat

Florida Senate bans sale of cell-based meat within the state
Business

Florida Senate bans sale of cell-based meat within the state

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Last week (1 May), Florida’s Governer Ron DeSantis signed a law (SB 1084) prohibiting the sale and production of cell-based meat within the state, making Florida the first US state to enact such a ban.  


The law in Florida comes into force on 1 July and sees the production and sale of cell-based meat within the state as a second-degree misdemeanour. 


On Tuesday this week (7 May), Alabama followed suit, after Governer Kay Ivey signed a bill (SB 23) banning the production and sale of cultivated meat within the state. 


This means that in Alabama, it is a Class C misdemeanour to manufacture, sell or distribute cultivated meat – those in violation of this could face a fine of $500 and up to three months in jail, and have their license revoked if it is a food establishment. 


Florida’s DeSantis said: “We’re fighting back against an ideology that ultimately wants to eliminate meat production in the US and around the globe. In the State of Florida, we’ve put down the marker very clearly: we stand with agriculture...Take your fake lab-grown meat elsewhere. We’re not doing that in the state of Florida.” 


Alabama representative Jack Crawford, who carried the bill in the House, said: “This law will strengthen our livestock and poultry industry by preventing lab-cultured cells from being sold in Alabama. To our consumers, the quality and safety of our agricultural products are of the utmost importance, and these lab-grown protein cells can’t be assured to be safe.” 


These two bans mean that around 28 million US citizens now live in states that have banned cultivated meat.  


Commenting on Florida’s ban, Julia Martin, cellular agriculture lead at ProVeg International, told The Cell Base: 

“Florida’s move to ban cultivated meat to protect farmers is illogical, as well as likely an unwise use of a vulnerable sector which will only favour the interests of the intensive livestock industry. The ban will prevent farmers in Florida from embracing new technology that can ensure they can support the future food supply chain and have a secured income as we embrace more environmentally friendly forms of farming.”  

She continued: “Cultivated meat is one of a number of approaches, along with a shift to more plant-based diets, which should be supported in order to ensure the food system is fit for the future. We have a lot to learn from how sustainability measures have been pushed onto farmers in Europe without their substantial involvement or giving them economical support. So farmers must have a central place in the adaptation of our food systems that are inclusive of cellular agriculture, rather than being used as an excuse, misinformed, or isolated.” 


Upside Foods, one of only two companies operating in the US that have had its cell-based chicken approved as safe for sale and consumption, have launched a petition urging lawmakers to “respect your right to decide what's on your plate”.   

  

The petition states: “Let’s be clear: These laws do not protect consumers. It is ‘food policing’ to protect entrenched interests, defying free market principles and limiting consumer autonomy for a product the food safety experts at USDA and FDA have deemed safe.” 


Good Meat, which gained regulatory approval to sell its cultivated chicken in the US and Singapore last year, also provided a statement on Florida's move to ban the novel foods.


The company said: "We are disappointed that Governor Ron DeSantis has signed into law the criminalisation of cultivated meat in Florida. In a state that purportedly prides itself on being a land of freedom and individual liberty, its government is now telling consumers what meat they can or cannot purchase. This bill sends a terrible message to the investors, scientists, and entrepreneurs that have built America’s global leadership in alternative proteins."


The statement continued:

"The legislature presented no credible safety concerns, and its regulatory bodies asked us for no clarifying information. This stands in contrast to the 3+ years we engaged with the USDA and FDA to ensure our product is safe for consumers. That process led to our approval for commercial sale in the US last summer. This legislation has always been about one thing – helping one industry, “Big Ag”, avoid accountability and competition. Today, these multinational corporations and their lobbyists won. China will also be celebrating, as they are closer to overcoming our nation’s lead in this emerging sector.

"The law is a setback for everyone else: Floridians who deserve the right to eat whatever safe and approved meat they want; Florida’s technology sector, innovators and entrepreneurs; and all those working to stop the worst impacts of climate change. The law will not stop the development of cultivated meat. And Good Meat remains committed to its mission: making real meat without needing to tear down a rainforest or take a life."


#Florida #Alabama #Ban

Florida and Alabama become first states to ban cell-based meat

Phoebe Fraser

10 May 2024

Florida and Alabama become first states to ban cell-based meat

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