Italy-grown meat ban could set industry back
Just as the US government was becoming more comfortable with the concept of cultured meat, the Italian government introduced a bill banning the use of lab-grown foods.
The process of making cultured meat includes a method, like precision laboratory fermentation, that uses animal cells without slaughtering the animals.
Reuters reported that the bill “aims to safeguard the country’s agri-food heritage”, according to the country’s agriculture minister, Francesco Lollobrigida, who also said: “Laboratory products, in our opinion, do not guarantee the quality, well-being and protection of our culture, our tradition.
The bill will now be presented to parliament and, if passed, any breach of the law in the future could result in fines of up to €60,000 or approximately $65,000.
In response to the proposed ban, Cellular Agriculture Europe called it “bad public policy” and said it would “reduce consumers’ ability to choose the foods they want”, especially new products for those “who are concerned about the welfare of animals and the environmental impact of their food.
Currently, Singapore is the only country allowing the sale of cultured chicken. Good Meat was the first company to gain approval to sell its chicken product grown there and received clearance from the US Food and Drug Administration last week, joining Upside Foods, as only two companies to take the next step in marketing their products in the United States.
Dozens of companies, in the United States and elsewhere, are not far behind in bringing cultured or cell-grown meat products to market. In the United States, these companies must receive approval from the FDA and the United States Department of Agriculture before marketing their products in this country.
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