HB 435 moved to the Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee last week. Following this, the Florida House also began moving forward with a wide-ranging Department of Agriculture and Consumer Sciences bill, HB 1071 which bans the creation or selling of cultivated meat in the state.
Fellow Republican Rep. Danny Alvarez sponsored HB 1071, which the Tampa Bay Times says is widely supported by agricultural groups.
“As of today, the unknowns are so great,”Alvarez told the House panel, voicing his concerns about food safety. “There are no long-term studies.”
Tampa Bay Republican Danny Alvarez wants to ban lab-grown meat https://t.co/bv1n1p3Qam
— Creative Loafing Tampa Bay (@cl_tampabay) January 24, 2024
The Senate version, SB 1084, was approved Jan. 16 by the Senate Agriculture Committee.
Other state officials say that cultivated meat might be an economic driver for Florida. Democratic state Rep. Joe Casello told reporters that while he wouldn’t buy lab grown meat, “I think this is the wave of the future … it’s going to come.”
The USDA and FDA have scrutinized cultivated meat safety
Believe it or not, cultivated meat isn’t a new concept. In 1931, Winston Churchill predicted, “We shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing, by growing these parts separately under a suitable medium.”
In 2013, the first cultivated burger was debuted by a team at Maastricht University. Just three years later, UPSIDE Foods launched publicly, with Mosa Meat, and Super Meat following.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration approved two lab-grown meat company’s cultivated meat products.
“The world is experiencing a food revolution and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is committed to supporting innovation in the food supply,” Robert Califf, the FDA’s commissioner of food and drugs, wrote in November following passing UPSIDE Foods pre-market consultation.
Since approval, UPSIDE cultivated chicken has launched at restaurant partners starting with Chef Dominique Crenn’s restaurant Bar Crenn in San Francisco. The brand’s cultivated chicken, however, was recently chosen by MIT Technology Review as one of 2023’s biggest technology fails, stating that, “UPSIDE was using lots of labor, plastic, and energy to make hardly any meat,” Meanwhile, Eat Just is serving lab-grown products at the José Andrés Group of restaurants in Washington, D.C.
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Author: Heidi Crnkovic