Florida Set To Ban Bill Gates’ Fake Meat: “It Causes Cancer”

Florida Set To Ban Bill Gates’ Fake Meat: “It Causes Cancer”

Lawmakers in Florida are set to ban Bill Gates’ fake meat products in the state due to overwhelming evidence that the lab-grown meat causes cancer.

Bill HB 1071 will make the sale of “cultivated meat” illegal, meaning any business or individual caught manufacturing or selling the fake meat will be criminally prosecuted.

Floridapolitics.com reports: Rep. Daniel Alvarez, a Tampa Republican, defended the move to ban the sale of cultivated meat completely, though he acknowledged that it likely won’t last forever. But he said it will be at least five years before the food will even be widely available commercially, and lawmakers have time to revisit the issue

“I want a free market that tells me when I put a product in Publix, I know that it is safe and secure,” Alvarez said.

But critics of the legislation say the bill will stifle a burgeoning biotech industry’s presence in Florida. That included Republicans on the committee.

Rep. Jim Mooney, an Islamorada Republican, said there’s plenty of meat on plates imported from around the world that gives him pause. So why sound alarms about meat cultivated in safe U.S. laboratories?

“We don’t want to eat Chinese food that’s going to be on our plates ultimately down the road and that’s a scary, scary thought,” Mooney said. “Tilapia. You ever seen how it’s raised in Vietnam? So you know how I feel on this.”

The legislation has been supported by traditional agriculture, including the Florida Cattlemen’s Association. But investors, researchers and entrepreneurs have said it’s a mistake to bar the product entirely.

Just this week, the North American Meat Institute sent a letter to Gov. Ron DeSantis and legislative leaders. That group is the largest and longest standing trade association for meatpackers, and opponents of the legislation said the undermined suggestion cellular agriculture poses a threat to traditional farming.

“Legislators and others who beat the ‘food safety’ drum in support of HB 1071 and SB 1084 do so at their peril, and the peril of others, because these bills establish a precedent for adopting policies and regulatory requirements that could one day adversely affect the bills’ supporters,” the Meat Institute letter reads.

Critics note the U.S. Department of Agriculture has already approved consumption of the product

But Sen. Jay Collins, a Tampa Republican, said Florida has reason to express more caution than the federal government has shown.

“We’re saying we want more testing, more safety data before we allow this to be sold in Florida, just because the (Food and Drug Administration) has allowed it,” Collins said, acknowledging that he doesn’t foresee the ban lasting “forever.”

Only two restaurants in the country right now serve cultivated meat, one in San Francisco and another in Washington, and both sell lab-grown white meats.

Meanwhile, research into cultivation of meat remains ongoing at a number of universities and institutions in Florida. The University of Florida and University of Miami both have studies underway, as do Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota and NASA facilities in Cape Canaveral.

Sponsors in both chambers amended bills to allow for research to continue.

Democrats in the Senate welcomed that shift, but feared if the sale of meat remains banned, it will hurt research efforts.

“I’m not sure why we would in the Free State of Florida we’re trying to stop a whole new industry,” said Sen. Lori Berman, a Boynton Beach Democrat.