Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s cabinet approved a bill Tuesday that would ban lab-grown meat and other synthetic food products, Reuters reported.
The bill, proposed jointly by Meloni and Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, would ban Italian industries from producing food procured from “cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals,” Reuters reported. The bill must be passed by parliament.
AGI – Nel CdM di domani previsto un ddl che vieta la produzione e la commercializzazione di alimenti e mangimi sintetici, come la “carne sintetica”. Previste multe fino a 60 mila euro@ultimora_pol pic.twitter.com/xZ2x7TilJF
— Ultimora.net – POLITICS (@ultimora_pol) March 27, 2023
Violators of the new law could face fines of up to 60,000 euros ($65,022), according to Reuters.
Lollobrigida said, “Synthetic foods produce unemployment and more risks for biodiversity, they do not guarantee quality, well-being and also the protection of our culture and tradition, which links a part of our model to food and wine,” according to Italian news outlet Ultimora.net.
Italian farmers’ group Coldiretti organized a “flash mob” in central Rome on Tuesday in support of the bill, with farmers holding signs reading, “No to synthetic meat,” and “No to the oligarchs of artificial food.” Among other supporters of the bill are the World Farmer’s Markets Coalition, the World Farmers Organization and Farm Europe, according to Coldiretti.
Detractors say the bill limits options for consumers and is debilitating to the climate movement. The head of policy at the Good Food Institute Europe, Alice Ravenscroft, said the law “would shut down the economic potential of this nascent field in Italy, holding back scientific progress and climate mitigation efforts,” Reuters reported.
The bill adjoins a larger effort by Meloni’s Brother’s of Italy Party to secure Italy’s food image. Meloni also endorsed a bill that would label “products containing or derived from insects,” according to Reuters.