In the future, laboratory meat will not be produced or sold in Italy
“In vitro burgers” are now available in Singapore and the US, where “lab meat” is approved. Animal rights activists also support the innovative production method, but in Italy the government has now decided against it – for surprising reasons.
IThe right-wing Italian government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni bans the production and sale of laboratory meat. The Chamber of Deputies in Rome on Thursday approved a corresponding bill that had already been approved by the Senate.
Italy is the first country in Europe to introduce such a ban, as reported by the Ansa news agency. Politicians from the Italian government parties were satisfied after the vote in the Chamber of Deputies. “We are concerned about protecting our tradition, our products and, above all, the health of Italians”, argued Lega politician Davide Bergamini.
To produce meat in a laboratory, stem cells are taken from living animals and then grown in a nutrient fluid made up of fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and sugar. In it they can multiply and grow into muscle tissue.
No animals would have to be killed to obtain meat from the laboratory, which is supported by animal rights activists. Several animal rights groups described Thursday’s decision as an “ideological ban.” The environmental aspect of this production method is also frequently highlighted.
In fact, laboratory meat has never been on the market in Italy – critics therefore criticize the project as a false debate. The opposition even doubts the constitutionality of the law. A blanket ban could also violate international law and European regulations, which could result in a conflict with the EU Commission.
The Coldiretti agricultural association, however, welcomed much of the new law. Above all, the simultaneous ban on the use of everyday terms for alternative plant-based products, such as plant-based burgers or vegetarian sausages, is correct.
However, there was criticism from the opposition. In particular, the constitutionality of the law is questioned. A blanket ban could also violate international law and European regulations, which could result in a conflict with the EU Commission.
According to the law, violations must be punished with fines of up to 60 thousand euros and confiscation of property.