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Friday, December 8, 2023

Italy bans laboratory meat – taz.de

Right-wing government suspends the production and sale of artificial meat. For Lega politicians it is “about protecting our tradition”.

A jagged steak next to six petri dishes – lab meat?

This steak is definitely in the lab – but did it come from the lab? Photo: dpa

ROME dpa | Italy’s right-wing government of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni bans the production and sale of Lab meat. The Chamber of Deputies in Rome passed a corresponding bill on Thursday that had already been approved by the Senate. The discussion about synthetic meat recently came to a head in Italy. The opposition vehemently rejected a ban. Italy is the first country in Europe to introduce such a ban, as reported by the Ansa news agency.

To produce meat in the laboratory, stem cells are taken from living animals and end up in a culture fluid made up of fats, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and sugar. There they multiply and grow into muscle tissue. No animals would have to be killed for meat from the laboratory advocated by animal rights activists becomes. The environmental aspect is also often highlighted.

Politicians from the governing parties were pleased after the vote in the Chamber of Deputies. “We are concerned with protecting our tradition, our products and, above all, the health of the Italians,” said Lega politician Davide Bergamini.

However, there was criticism from the opposition. In particular, she 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.

USA allows lab meat

Italy’s agricultural association Coldiretti had already demonstrated in front of the government headquarters in Rome in March and called for a “no to synthetic food”. As a European pioneer in food quality and safety, Italy has a duty to protect companies and citizens. There is currently no application in the EU to allow such food to be produced or marketed.

According to the law, violations should be punished with fines of up to 60,000 euros and the confiscation of goods. In the USA, however, lab-grown meat has been allowed to be sold for the first time since June. The US Department of Agriculture had granted notice to the two Californian companies Upside Foods and Good Meat at that time gave final approval for the sale of chicken meat grown from animal cells.

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