Arizona and Florida Lawmakers Put Forward Bills Regulating Factory Laboratory Food
Arizona and Florida lawmakers have put forth bills that aim toward the regulation and labeling of cultivated meat on store shelves. Cultivated “meat” is defined as a product that is produced when cells are taken from an animal and put in a bioreactor to replicate.
The proposed bills from both the states of Arizona and Florida are making headway just six months after the USDA Food and Safety Inspection Service notified the public that Upside Food and Good Meat were moving forward after the completion of the pre-market regulatory review process for cultivated meat. Both companies listed have been selling their products in restaurants; however, they have not had their product on grocery store shelves.
In the State of Arizona, two bills have been put forward. House Bill 2244 was proposed with the intention of making it an illegal act to put the label “meat” on products that are not from livestock or poultry. The keywords on the bill are “misbranding, misrepresenting: food products”. On Monday, January 22nd, the Arizona House Committee on Land, Agriculture and Rural Affairs voted in favor of House Bill 2244 in a 6-3 vote.
House Bill 2121, proposed by Rep. David Marshall, is led with the goal of prohibiting not only the sale of cultivated meat but the production of cell-cultured meat altogether.
The State of Florida also brought two legislative proposals to the table with the same idea. SB 1084 and HB 1071 are positioned to strengthen the agricultural sector. Both proposals would make it unlawful to “manufacture, sell or deliver, hold, or offer for sale ‘cultivated meat’ for human consumption”. On February 11th, the Florida Agriculture Committee approved SB 1084 with 4 yea votes and 1 nay vote. On February 16th, it was moved to the Appropriations Committee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government. Similarly, HB 1071 has been introduced and read on January 9th, 2024.
Arizona and Florida Bills Offer Protections to Agriculture
These bills would ensure a wide range of protections for both Arizona and Florida’s farming and ranching families. For Florida, the bills would guarantee that criminal penalties would be charged to those who trespass on agricultural land, ease restrictions for renewing professional and concealed weapon licenses, as well as prohibit the process of transporting and purchasing saw palmetto berries.
Not only would the Florida bill change things for the production side of agriculture, but it would impact the future generations to come. In the State of Florida, 4-H and FFA members would be provided excused absences for all program activities.
Statements from Lawmakers
Florida State Representative, Danny Alvarez, co-sponsor of HB 1071 stated, “Florida's agriculture industry is not only the backbone of our economy, [but] it is critical to our food security and the future prosperity of our state and nation. I’m proud to stand with Florida’s farmers and ranchers with this important legislation that supports and defends their way of life”.
Arizona mentioned that the bill has been made to protect public health and noted that [Arizona’s ranching industry] “is integral to this state’s history, culture, values and economy”. Specifically, this bill grants the right to collect damages of up to $100,000 for those who are affected by the sale of cultivated meat.
Florida SB 1084 HERE
Florida SB 1071 HERE
Arizona HB 2244 HERE