DeSantis signs Florida's ban on lab-grown meat

Florida legistlators recently passed a bill prohibiting the manufacture or sale of lab-grown meat, and Governor Ron DeSantis signed it yesterday. Alabama, Arizona and Tennessee have already done likewise. The measure, which provides criminal sanctions for offenders, is to please the meat business—but was posed by DeSantis as defending America against a global conspiracy.

"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.

We're at the point where media can quote cattle ranchers saying things like "lab meat is a national security problem" and that's not only normal but a more measured and nuanced expression of state policy than the nasal ravings of the governor implementing it. Lab-cultivated meat isn't expected to be a commercially viable consumer product for many years. But when it is, it's now less likely to be one made in America.

Previously: Shmeat safe to eat, says FDA