Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning. Sign Up

Senate passes ban of lab-grown meat

The Alabama Senate on Thursday approved legislation banning the sale of meat produced from cultured animal cells.

Senate Bill 23, sponsored by Sen. Jack Williams, R-Mobile, makes it a Class C felony to manufacture, sell or distribute cultivated meat.

Cultivated meat is grown in labs using animal cells but without having to raise and kill animals. 

Last year, U.S. regulators approved the sale of chicken made from animal cells, allowing two California companies to offer “lab-grown” meat, The Associated Press reported.

The bill passed the Senate without opposition and moved to the House.

Williams is a farmer who raises cattle, among other commodities.

“Anything that is artificial and not to do with our animals comes up on my radar,” Williams told Alabama Daily News.  “I don’t want Alabamians eating  that.”

Cultivated meat is grown in steel tanks.  Depending on the process, the tank produces a large sheet that can be formed into steaks, cutlets, nuggets and shredded meat. 

Williams argues against the necessity of importing these products. 

“If you were on  Mars, you have to grow what you have to grow to eat,” he said. “The problem with this is we have plenty  of food in the state. We have plenty of cattle and chicken. There’s no reason for us to bring this  product in here.” 

In 2019, the Legislature passed a law saying lab-grown meat substitutes could not be labeled as meat in Alabama.

Williams, who has served in the State House since 2014, plans to run for state agriculture commissioner in 2026, he told Alabama Daily News. Current Commissioner Rick Pate can’t run after serving two terms. 

Pate spoke in favor of SB23.

“We want to be supportive of our cattlemen and that’s a huge industry in Alabama and income for our small farmers,” Pate said.

Alabama Daily News’ Mary Sell contributed to this report.

Get the Daily News Digest in your inbox each morning.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Web Development By Infomedia