AUSTIN, Texas — Despite conspiracy theories floating around online, scientists and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say COVID-19 vaccines are NOT being used on livestock.
That hasn't stopped the Texas Legislature from taking up a bill that was filed late and allowing it to skip over rules. State Sen. Roland Gutierrez says he's frustrated this bill based on what he calls a conspiracy is being prioritized over other issues.
"I don’t know what kind of crazy train these folks are on," said San Antonio Sen. Roland Gutierrez. "A bill that is a TikTok conspiracy."
He’s talking about SB 2632. The proposed bill would prohibit "the sale of any meat or food derived from livestock injected with mRNA vaccine unless the product's label includes a notice."
"That would require meat packing companies to label if a cow took a COVID vaccine," said Gutierrez. "The cattle and farming industry, they are not vaccinating cows with COVID vaccines. It doesn’t exist."
The US Department of Agriculture agrees with Gutierrez.
In a statement, the USDA says it "has not approved and does not have any vaccines under trial to vaccinate livestock for COVID-19 and there are no licensed mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 in animals."
"There are no current mRNA vaccines license for use in beef and cattle in the US," the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association said.
"Cattle are not getting any COVID vaccines," said Dr. Catherine Troisi, an infectious diseases epidemiologist at UTHealth. "mRNA would not make it past your GI system even if it lasted in the cattle meat - which it doesn’t."
Scientists find this misinformation frustrating.
"It is disturbing how much misinformation is out there. It is disturbing that people with no knowledge of science can be saying these things on social media that people unhesitatingly believe it," said Dr.Triosi.
Gutierrez said he's frustrated the state Legislature is considering a bill on something he calls a conspiracy theory.
"I find it ironic the party trying to ban TikTok is passing a TikTok conspiracy through legislation," said Gutierrez.
He’s upset the bill was allowed to be filed weeks after the filing deadline. He says Dan Patrick allowed the bill to rush through the process but didn’t give the same priority to mourning families in Uvalde fighting for change.
"It is obvious to me here that we are living in a time of Texas the most ridiculous conspiracy theory takes precedence over children dying in schools and malls. The proliferation of guns is of no consequence to them as if it doesn’t matter to them," said Gutierrez.
We’ve reached out to Sen. Bob Hall’s office for a comment. He's the lawmaker who filed the bill. We have not heard back.
There are 9 sponsors for this bill, including Houston legislator Paul Bettencourt.
The bill was heard in a committee Tuesday night.
We're told they added an amendment to make sure fruits and plants are not injected with COVID vaccines, something experts also say is not happening.