Politics & Law

Arizona Introduces Legislation Challenging Cultivated Meat Industry

Joining the list of states considering similar measures, Arizona has proposed multiple new legislations that could redefine the legal framework surrounding cultivated meat.

The first bill under consideration, Bill 2244, was introduced by State Representative Quang Nguyen, a Republican and Chair of Public Safety, focusing on the labeling and sale of cultivated meat products.

“Arizona legislators are joining a growing chorus of consumer voices concerned about lab-grown meat”

House Bill 2244 mandates that “A person who places a label on a food product may not intentionally misbrand or misrepresent a product that is not derived from livestock or poultry as meat, a meat food product, poultry or a poultry product.” This encompasses cell-cultured food items and synthetic products derived from plants, insects, or other sources. The bill’s emphasis is on preventing the misbranding of these products as traditional meat.

Representative Nguyen, in a statement to Capital Media Services, underscored that the bill aims to enhance transparency and disclosure within the industry rather than to impede the offering and purchase of alternative meat products.

Avant Meats cultivated
© Avant Meats

House Bill 2121, proposed by Republican Representative David Marshall, proposes a more stringent approach, seeking to outright prohibit the sale and production of cell-cultured animal products. The bill defines “cell-cultured animal product” as any cultured animal tissue produced from in vitro animal cell cultures outside the original organism.

The bill goes on to cite that the prevention of cell-cultured meat is essential to protect public health and the “state’s sovereign interests, history, economy and food heritage.” The bill also highlights the significance of cattle as a cornerstone of Arizona’s economy and expresses concerns over potential threats to state trust land beneficiaries and land use arising from lab-grown meat production.

Similar movements in other states

Similar bills have also been proposed in other states. Last November, House Representative Tyler Sirois introduced a new bill to prohibit the production, selling, holding, and distributing of cultivated meat in Florida, which, if signed, would come into effect in July 2024. Stricter labeling regulations have also been pushed in Texas and Nebraska, requiring companies to clearly indicate when products are made through cell cultivation.

Commenting on these developments, Jack Hubbard, Executive Director at the Center for the Environment and Welfare and former member of the Advisory Council for Dairy Sustainability Framework, highlighted the growing public concern regarding lab-grown meat. He commented, “Arizona legislators are joining a growing chorus of consumer voices concerned about lab-grown meat – and rightfully so. The lab-grown meat sector is facing increasingly strong headwinds as the public learns more about the use of ‘immortalized cells’ and the absence of long-term nutritional and health studies,” as reported by Food Dive.

As of today, no hearings have been scheduled for either bill in Arizona.

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