Tennessee Legislators Pass Bill Classifying Foods with Vaccines as Drugs

The Tennessee Senate passed a bill that redefines the term “drug” to include foods that contain vaccine components.

The bill, HB 1894, passed 23-6 in the Senate after receiving a 73-22 vote in the House.

According to Newsweek, vaccine material is defined as a substance that “stimulate[s] the production of antibodies and provide immunity against disease.”

Foods containing vaccine materials can still be sold in stores, but would require labeling.

The legislation comes as some lawmakers have raised concerns about the presence of “edible vaccines” in foods.

Transgenic edible vaccine research took place at the University of California, Riverside, as a means of implementing mRNA into plants, such as lettuce and spinach.

The university received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to assess whether DNA containing the mRNA vaccine can be integrated into a plant cell and replicated.

“We are testing this approach with spinach and lettuce and have long-term goals of people growing it in their own gardens,” said UCR’s Department of Botany and Plant Sciences associate professor Juan Pablo Giraldo. “Farmers could also eventually grow entire fields of it.”