Italian gov't bans cultivated meat, restricts plant-based meat labelling

The bill, which bans the production and promotion of cultivated meat, was passed by Italy’s Chamber of Deputies, its lower house. Anyone who breaches it could be subject to a fine of €60,000. The bill also includes restrictions on what manufacturers can call plant-based meat alternatives, preventing them from using meat-based names such as ‘salami’ or ‘steak.’

The reasoning behind the bill

We protect our food, our food system, to maintain the relationship between food, land and human work that has accompanied us for millennia​,” said Italy’s Minister for Agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigada, “guaranteeing the quality that Italy expresses and which is the expression of food safety for the entire planet.​”

Cultivated meat, he said, “does not guarantee this principle. We must protect our workers, our agricultural entrepreneurs and our citizens who have the right to eat well​.” He went on to say that the EU has not given the novel food regulatory approval, and that he is confident that they will reject it.

We are proud that Italy is the first nation on the planet to prohibit this type of production, that erases our traditional food system​.”

In essence, the ban aims to protect both the livelihoods of Italian workers, such as farmers, and Italy’s culinary traditions.

The arguments against

However, not everyone supports the ban. Critics feel that it stifles the economic opportunity of participating in a growing industry, as well as threatening the potential of cultivated meat to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.