A Burger Made with Lab-Grown Meat
A Burger Made with Lab-Grown Meat Reuters

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed on Monday a law banning lab-grown meat in the state, becoming the first one to pass such a measure in the United States, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported on Monday.

"Florida is fighting back against the global elite's plan to force the world to eat meat grown in a petri dish or bugs to achieve their authoritarian goals," DeSantis said in a statement. "Our administration will continue to focus on investing in our local farmers and ranchers, and we will save our beef."

The governor described the ban as a measure part of a broader context of countering "global elites," a group he identified with global leaders who attend the World Economic Forum at Davos, Switzerland, every January.

"They will say that you can't drive an internal combustion engine vehicle. They'll say that agriculture is bad. Meanwhile, they're flying to Davos in their private jets," DeSantis said.

Cattle farming has been long linked with global warming, as breeding cows can largely increase the release of carbon dioxide and methane to the atmosphere. Research shows varying figures regarding its overall contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, ranging from 5 to 14% at a global level.

In that context, dozens of startups around the world have sought to produce "lab meat" based on animal stem cells. According to USA Today, there were about 60 startups around the world focused on making this kind of meat last year. So far the practice has not become widespread.

Florida's SB1084, nonetheless, bans the product and, instead, said it will implement a series of measures to protect cattle farmers. Among them are: to "modernize Florida's Right to Farm Act to protect reasonable agricultural activities from frivolous lawsuits; simplifying the steps needed for local farmers to receive tax exemptions for agricultural materials; and investing more than $2.8 billion into the state's agricultural industry in the Framework for Freedom Budget."

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