Italy says no to lab-based meat

While lab-grown or plant-based foods are gaining ground around the world, Italy’s parliament has approved, but not yet passed, a bill banning the use of laboratory-produced food and animal feed, Poultry World reports. The publication says the measure is almost certain to become law.

If it is passed, food or animal feed “from cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals” would not be permitted in Italy. The government is also opposed to promoting insects as a food alternative.

“Italy is the first nation in the world to say no to synthetic foods,” said the country’s minister of agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida.

“Laboratory products, in our opinion, do not guarantee quality, well-being and the protection of our culture, our tradition”.

Among the organisations opposing the move are the Good Food Institute Europe. A spokesman said that, if passed, the Italian law would be a step back not only for scientific progress but for climate mitigation and consumer choice.

Looks like the start of a long battle in Italy, and also in the European Union, because imports from other EU countries would be affected.