Jeff Bezos’s $1 billion lab-grown meat plans busted by Florida ban?

Jeff Bezos’s $1 billion lab-grown meat plans busted by Florida ban?

Governor Ron DeSantis may have incurred Jeff Bezos’s wrath after banning lab-grown meat in Florida. — Instagram/@laurensanchez/Unsplash/File

Governor Ron DeSantis this week banned the sale of lab-grown meat in Florida, showing red rag to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who has, as initial investment, announced $60 million for sustainable protein sector and plans to raise it to $1 billion.

The former presidential hopeful argues the Sunshine State wants to halt the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) heinous goal of “forcing the world to eat lab-grown meat and insects.”

The WEF in 2021 said insects could come in handy to feed the global population more sustainably and that insect breeding could be helped by AI, triggering a backlash on social media.

Industry analysts are trying to make sense of the move because lab-grown meat has yet to become available for sale in the US. It must be noted that in terms of the number of cattle heads, Florida ranks 13th in the US having a total herd size of 886,000 among 15,000 beef producers with total sales of $546 million, according to the Florida Beef Council.

On the other hand, this action may have fired a warning shot for the billionaires in Florida willing to venture into food innovations aimed at slowing down the fallout of climate change. Jeff Bezos is one of them.

Fortune reported that Lauren Sánchez, Vice Chair of the Bezos Earth Fund and Bezos’s fiancée, revealed in March an initial investment of $60 million towards sustainable protein, encompassing plant-based, fermented, and cultivated meats. This contribution is a component of their larger commitment of $1 billion towards enhancing food production.

“We need to feed 10 billion people with healthy, sustainable food throughout this century while protecting our planet. We can do it, and it will require a ton of innovation,” said Sánchez in a statement.

Lab-grown or cultivated meat is different from products like the Impossible Burger. It involves replicating the cell structures of animal meat through scientific means, eliminating the necessity for traditional animal farming.

The Good Food Institute, a nonprofit, underscored that the cultivated meat sector is now 150 companies strong, covered by a total investment of $2.6 billion, with Bezos being the top backer of this sector.

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