Meat & Livestock News

Florida’s Bold Stance Against Lab-Grown Meat: The HB 435 Bill

Quality control expert inspecting at meat in the laboratory

In a striking legislative development, Florida’s House Republican Ryler Sirois has tabled a bill, labelled HB 435, that could dramatically reshape the state’s approach to cultivated meat. This bill, if passed, would place Florida at the forefront of states taking a firm stance against the burgeoning industry of lab-grown meat products.

Introduced this Monday, the bill sketches out a framework of stringent penalties for those who defy its mandates.

It proposes that individuals found in violation of the law would face a misdemeanour of the second degree, with fines potentially soaring up to $1,000. But the bill’s reach extends beyond individuals; it also targets commercial entities. Restaurants, stores, or any business dealing in cultivated meat found flouting the law could see their licenses suspended forthwith.

In a move to tighten regulatory oversight, the bill also mandates the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to craft specific rules governing the state’s approach to cultivated meat.

Should this bill navigate its way through the legislative process and be signed into law, its provisions are slated to come into effect in July 2024, marking a significant shift in Florida’s food industry landscape.

This legislative initiative emerges against the backdrop of a contrasting national trend. Just five months prior, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced that companies like Upside Foods and Good Meat had cleared the pre-market regulatory hurdles for their cultivated meat products.

These firms have since commenced the commercial distribution of their products in select eateries across California and Washington, D.C.

HB 435, therefore, stands as a stark counter-narrative to the growing acceptance of cultivated meat in the United States, spotlighting the diverse and evolving perspectives on food technology and safety across the nation’s states.