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Florida bans lab-grown 'meat.' Who’s next?
Nicholas Yeo/AFP/Getty Images

Florida bans lab-grown 'meat.' Who’s next?

The meme that globalists are forcing patriotic Americans into eating bugs and living in pods to save the planet is becoming a reality.

Last week, a Florida bill banning the sale of lab-grown meat went into effect. The bill is aimed at protecting American ranchers and farmers, targeting companies wanting to produce meat without killing the animal by using animal stem cells to create meat. It would not ban plant-based meats, like the famous Impossible burger.

Do we really want to synthesize meats with more chemicals that elites claim are safe?

After Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the bill back in May, he took a jab at globalists and World Economic Forum elites, arguing that lab-grown meat threatens Americans.

“What we're protecting here is the [agriculture] industry against acts of man, against an ideological agenda that wants to finger agriculture as the problem, that views things like raising cattle as destroying our climate,” said DeSantis. The governor portrayed lab-grown meat advocates as “people who will lecture the rest of us about things like global warming — they will say that, you know, 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, and they’re living like they would ever want to live.”

Food industrialization

Critics of the policy argue that the Florida bill prevents competition with Big Ag, which receives huge federal subsidies to industrialize broad sectors of the food supply. The large-scale agricultural lobby wants policies that ensure its continued domination of the food market. Unlike local farmers and ranchers who also benefit from the lab-grown meat ban, Big Ag frequently sacrifices food quality in favor of maximizing market control and efficiency.

While it’s true that Big Ag has driven the industrialization of food and lab-grown meat might have decreased its market power, the rise of synthetic meats has accelerated food industrialization due to its scalability and efficiency. When the technology becomes advanced enough — and if demand, whether voluntary or compulsory, rises to viable levels — scientists and technocrats will be able to produce petri-dish meat in a small lab in large quantities, increasing the supply of synthetic meats and crowding out meat produced by ranchers in local communities.

Much of America’s meats, fruits, and vegetables are already tainted with pesticides, chemicals, and fertilizers. Do we really want to synthesize meats with more chemicals that elites claim are safe?

It’s important to remember that curtailing Big Ag’s influence is not a goal in and of itself. Large-scale food production should be one of the means of delivering nutritious meals to American communities. Allowing synthetic meats to compete with processed hot dogs, for example, doesn’t actually provide a real alternative for Americans who want ethically sourced and healthy foods.


Other critics of Gov. DeSantis, playing a predictable theme, have accused him of food authoritarianism. A recent Reason article labeled DeSantis as “the real authoritarian” and accused him of unnecessarily framing cultured meat as a culture war issue. Such critics believe that protectionist regulations are harmful to individual liberty since consumers, not governments, should have the right to decide what they want to eat.

There is, however, no “right” to eat or sell whatever you want. Farmers can’t sell unpasteurized milk because that could cause disease. Fishermen can’t sell shark fins because that is unethical. So why should technocrats have the right to sell cultured meat if it's a threat to ranching? These situations aren’t exactly parallel, but they show precedent for prohibiting certain food products if legitimate threats arise.

Global elites have openly espoused anti-ranching sentiments, arguing that current levels of meat consumption should be cut back. At last year’s COP28 summit, the United Nations released a manifesto urging Americans to cut back on eating meat in order to meet the U.N.'s net-zero carbon emissions plan. Similarly, billionaire Bill Gates wants to drive down beef demand, which would be catastrophic for American ranchers and farmers.

“I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef,” Gates recently told MIT Technology Review. “You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time. Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand.”

But encouraging globalist elites to replace all natural meat with cells grown in little petri dishes isn’t just dystopian; it threatens the American way of life. Ranching is part of the American way of life. Ranching helped build Texas, even before it was part of the United States, and it set up the foundation for America’s Western frontier. It’s more than just another economic activity; it’s a lifestyle ingrained into American tradition.

The meme that globalists are forcing patriotic Americans into eating bugs and living in pods to save the planet is becoming a reality. But there’s still time for state legislatures to follow Florida’s lead and pre-empt “enlightened” elites from imposing the dark scenario.

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Ethan Xu

Ethan Xu

Ethan Xu is the Editor-In-Chief of the Texas Horn and an assistant editor of Return. He’s currently attending the University of Texas and was born and raised in the Lone Star State.
@realethanxu →