The Florida Legislature got an unlikely shout-out earlier this month. China Weekly, a Chinese language publication, mentioned a Florida bill that would ban the sale and manufacturing of cultivated meat, also sometimes referred to as lab-grown meat.

The Chinese government is investing heavily in the technology behind cultivated meat, the publication noted, according to a translation provided by University of Florida Assistant Professor Stephan Kory, who studies the language.

A Florida ban would strengthen China’s position, the publication said.


The cultivated meat issue could put Florida’s Republican leaders in an awkward position. As a candidate for president, Gov. Ron DeSantis ran on making American food production more competitive.

“China increasingly wields power over the global food supply, posing risks to our domestic food security and access to foreign markets,” his campaign website read.

But DeSantis seems to be supporting the ban on cultivated meat, which he referred to last week as “fake meat” — a position that could cause American companies to fall behind worldwide competitors in a key area of food science.