Although cultured meat has yet to reach store shelves or restaurant plates in the U.S. (though it received USDA approval in June 2023), a legislator in the Florida State House of Representatives introduced House Bill 435 this week, which proposes making it illegal to manufacture, sell, hold or distribute lab-grown (or cultivated) meat in the state, according to news reports.
The legislation was introduced by Tyler Sirois, a Republican in the state House, representing District 31, which includes Cocoa Beach, Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center, east of Orlando. HB 435 defines lab-grown meat as “any meat or food product produced from cultured animal cells.”
If passed, violators would reportedly face a misdemeanor of the second degree and would have to pay a fine ranging from $500 to $1,000. Restaurants, stores or businesses in violation could have their business license suspended or receive an immediate stop-sale order.
In addition, HB 435 would mandate anyone who wanted to sell lab-grown meat in Florida would have to obtain future authorization from the state’s Department of Agriculture and Consumer Serivces. If passed, the bill would take effect in July 2024, which would put it in place before cultured meat theoretically could be brought to market in the U.S., let alone in Florida.