The Italian government has put forward a bill that would ban the use of lab-grown food or cultivated meat. The cultivation of meat uses a method called precision fermentation in a laboratory, which utilizes animal cells without slaughtering animals. Reuters reports that the bill is being proposed to safeguard the country’s agri-food heritage. The country’s agriculture minister, Francesco Lollobrigida stated that, “Laboratory products… do not guarantee quality, well-being, and the protection of our culture, our tradition.” The bill will go in front of parliament, and if passed, could result in fines of up to €60,000 or $65,000 for any violations of the law.
Cellular Agriculture Europe has responded to the prohibition, calling it “bad public policy” that would restrict consumers’ ability to choose the food they want, including new products geared for those concerned about animal welfare and the environmental impact of their food. Singapore is currently the only country allowing the sale of cultivated chicken. Good Meat was the first company to receive approval to sell its cultivated chicken product there and received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance last week, joining Upside Foods as the only two companies to move to the next stage of commercializing their products in the U.S.
Numerous companies in the U.S. and elsewhere are not far behind in getting cultivated, or cell-cultured, meat products on the market. These companies will need approval from both the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture before being able to commercialize their products in the country.