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    Florida Senate Passes Bill Possibly Banning Lab-Grown Meat and Regulating EV Charging Stations

    2024-03-02
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    The Florida Senate has passed a bill, SB 1084, that may ban the sale and production of lab-grown meat. The bill was approved with a 26-10 vote and is supported by the state's agriculture groups. The bill's sponsor, Jay Collins, R-Tampa, raised safety concerns about lab-grown meat. He stated that its safety for consumers is not guaranteed. However, Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, countered that federal regulations for lab-grown meat already exist and it could be a sustainable food source.

    Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, worried that the ban might discourage tech companies from establishing in Florida. She noted that lab-grown meat is a growing industry, attracting interest from countries like Israel and China. Polsky also mentioned the potential health and environmental benefits of lab-grown meat, including lower risk of foodborne diseases, controlled fat content, and no growth hormones.

    A previous version of the bill suggested banning research into lab-grown meat. This raised concerns about its effect on the space industry, which is considering lab-grown meat for long-term space travel. The current bill would classify selling or producing lab-grown meat as a second-degree misdemeanor.

    The bill also aims to stop local governments from regulating electric vehicle charging stations, to establish a consistent framework across the state. Collins argued this would stop cities from banning or overloading on EV charging stations. Currently, Florida has around 3,230 public charging stations in 44 of its 67 counties.

    The Senate accepted an amendment from Pizzo that would lead to the department setting rules for EV charging stations. However, Polsky expressed concerns about potential delays if a single agency handles the diverse needs of the state. She highlighted the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, even though they are not yet the majority.

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