Alabama follows DeSantis’ lead and bans lab-grown meat

Alabama has joined the ranks of states that have rejected cultivated meat, a groundbreaking protein source created from animal cells.

The Alabama bill, which was proposed by Senator Jack Williams, vice chair of the Senate Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee, and signed into law on May 7 by Governor Kay Ivy, now forbids the manufacturing, sale, or distribution of food products derived from cultured animal cells.

In a press conference on May 1, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that Florida has become the first state to prohibit the sale of lab-grown meat. During the conference, he emphasized his support for the state’s agriculture industry, cattle ranchers, and farmers, stating that they are the backbone of Florida. This announcement coincided with the beginning of National Beef Month.

According to DeSantis, Florida is currently taking a stand against the global elite’s agenda of pushing for lab-grown meat or insect consumption in order to achieve their authoritarian objectives.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the state generates over $900 million per year through the sales of beef cattle and breeding stock.

Beef production has become a central topic in climate change discussions due to its significant contribution to global methane emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, a single cow emits between 154 to 264 pounds of methane gas per year. When multiplied by the 1.5 billion beef cattle raised worldwide, this amounts to a staggering total of at least 231 billion pounds of methane being released into the atmosphere annually.

Cell-based protein offers a significant advantage over traditional livestock farming in terms of its impact on the environment. Unlike raising livestock, which requires land, water, and crops, cell-based protein production eliminates the need for these resources. This is particularly important as the demand for meat continues to rise worldwide. The funding for cultivated meat and seafood companies has been on the rise as well, with over 100 such companies receiving a total of $225.9 million in 2023 alone. Since 2013, the industry has received a total investment of over $3 billion, according to the Good Food Institute.

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Sean Edgett, chief legal officer of Upside Foods, expressed his concern over legislation that prohibits cultivated meat. He believes that such a move is reckless, as it disregards the expertise of food safety professionals and scientific research. Furthermore, Edgett argues that banning cultivated meat limits consumer choice and hampers American innovation. He highlights that major meat companies have invested in cultivated meat to improve supply chain resilience and meet the increasing global demand for meat. In light of these factors, Edgett emphasizes the need to embrace innovation for a more promising future in the food industry.

Upside, a cultivated meat company, has garnered significant investments from food industry leaders Cargill and Tyson Foods, as well as renowned billionaires Richard Branson and Bill Gates. Notably, it is one of only two companies in the cultivated meat sector to have received approval from the USDA to market their chicken products in the United States.

In an effort to counteract the bans imposed by Alabama and Florida, Upside took action by launching a petition on change.org. The petition aimed to encourage consumers to voice their opposition to the interference of politicians in their food choices.

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