The Arizona House Committee on Land, Agriculture and Rural Affairs voted 6-3 in favor of making it illegal to label any product grown in a laboratory “meat” or “poultry.” House Bill 2244, introduced by Rep. Quang Nguyen (R) on January 22, if enacted, would make prohibit use of any term that is “the same or deceptively similar” to meat or poultry. The lawmakers say the legislation would prevent consumer confusion. The measure now needs approval of the state’s full House.
Challengers of the proposed legislation argue that FDA already requires any meat product produced in a laboratory to be labeled a “cell cultured’’ or “cell cultivated’’ product, so consumers shouldn’t be confused.
A second proposed piece of legislation, House Bill 2121 introduced by Rep. David Marshall (R), aims to prohibit the sale or production of cell-cultured animal products for human or animal consumption. An early version of the legislation sought to impose civil penalties on anyone who offers to sell, sells, or produces a cell-cultured animal product for human or animal consumption, and would create a cause of action for anyone or any company or organization, whose business is adversely affected by a violation of the prohibition.
Last June, FDA approved the sale of cultivated chicken in the United States. While Arizona is the first state in the U.S. to consider a ban on lab-grown meats, in November 2023, Italy outlawed all cultured proteins. If the Arizona bill passes, industry experts expect to see similar bills in additional states.