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Two Arizona Bills Mean to Control Cultured and Plant-Based Meats

Jan. 16, 2024
One proposal asks for clear labeling of both substitute products, the other would ban cultured meats.

In two proposed bills, Arizona may at least require labeling controls for substitute meat products – whether they’re cultured meat or animal-based protein analogues – and perhaps an outright ban on cultured meats.

Arizona state Rep. Quang Nguyen in January proposed legislation that would prohibit the labeling of any product as “meat” if it wasn’t derived directly from livestock or poultry. While much of the local news coverage focused on his concern over cultured meats, he said his proposal also would apply to plant-based products.

Nguyen told Capitol Media Services he doesn't intend to block grocers from offering – and customers from purchasing – such products. Rather, he said, it's a matter of transparency and disclosure.

However, Rep. David Marshall wants to go a step further and keep cultured meat out of the state altogether. Radio station KAWC reported Marshall’s HB 2121 would prohibit the sale or production of any "cell-cultured animal product for human or animal consumption.''

Marshall said his proposal is "a matter of statewide concern necessary to protect public health.'' But, as KAWC pointed out, part of bill clearly is meant to protect the state's cattle industry. His legislation would allow anyone whose business is "adversely affected'' by the sale of lab-grown meats to sue to stop the practice and be able to collect damages of up to $100,000.

Arizona joins Florida and Texas with active legislative proposals against cultured meats, and other states have talked about somehow regulating the sale of lab-grown meats in their states. Like Arizona, some of the proposals appear only concerned about not misleading consumers – that they should be made aware a given product has been lab-grown – but other pieces of legislation look more like protectionism of the cattle industry in their states.

And it’s not just here in the U.S. In November, Italy’s parliament gave its final approval for a law banning the use of food and animal feed produced in a lab.

About the Author

Dave Fusaro | Editor in Chief

Dave Fusaro has served as editor in chief of Food Processing magazine since 2003. Dave has 30 years experience in food & beverage industry journalism and has won several national ASBPE writing awards for his Food Processing stories. Dave has been interviewed on CNN, quoted in national newspapers and he authored a 200-page market research report on the milk industry. Formerly an award-winning newspaper reporter who specialized in business writing, he holds a BA in journalism from Marquette University. Prior to joining Food Processing, Dave was Editor-In-Chief of Dairy Foods and was Managing Editor of Prepared Foods.

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