Florida Bans “Cultivated” Meat - First in a Potential Series of Similar Bans

Key Takeaways

  • What Happened: Florida passed a ban on the manufacture and sale of cultivated meat.
  • Who’s Impacted: Cultivated meat manufacturers and distributors.
  • What Should You Do: Companies should stay up to date with ongoing bans and regulatory requirements to ensure compliance with the laws where they produce and sell their products.

Cultivated Meat

Cultivated meat- alternatively known as “lab-grown,” “cell-cultured,” or “synthetic” meat- uses existing animal cells to “grow” additional animal cells into meat products. The end product is nearly identical to real meat. As of 2024, many cultivated meats have been invented including beef, chicken, and pork. At the federal level, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service share regulatory oversight over cultivated meat. For an in-depth discussion of the regulatory challenges surrounding cultivated meat see our prior article.

Florida Ban

On May 1, 2024, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 1084 into law. Among other things, the new law makes it a second-degree misdemeanor to “knowingly sell cultivated meat within this state.” This includes “all phases related to such sale,” including manufacturing, distributing, holding, or offering, with an exemption for the manufacture and possession of cultivated meat if it is for research purposes. According to the Governor’s press release, this ban aims to protect Florida’s farmers. 

Potential Future Regulation

Notwithstanding federal oversight by FDA and USDA, many states are taking efforts to limit the production and sale of cultivated meat. For example, in 2019 Mississippi passed a law prohibiting certain animal-derived food products from being labeled as “meat” or a “meat food product.” As cultivated meat becomes more widely available, similar restrictions and bans will likely follow in other states. For example, Alabama, Arizona, and Tennessee are already considering bans like the new Florida law. Manufacturers and distributors of these unique products should be aware of these efforts to ensure compliance with the growing patchwork of requirements and prohibitions across the United States.

Beveridge & Diamond’s Agriculture industry group works with clients to identify, establish, and implement effective regulatory, commercial, and legislative strategies to achieve or exceed business objectives. We represent both large and small companies that develop, manufacture, distribute, or use seeds, crops, trees, livestock, and pesticides.