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Unpacking the Italian Ban on Cultivated Meat: Debating the Economic and Environmental Consequences



A draft law banning cellular agriculture products and denying Italian consumers sustainable protein choices is under discussion by the Italian Council of Ministers.


If this law passes, it would be detrimental to Italy's economy and scientific advancements. It would cause consumer choice to be limited, despite 54% of Italians wishing to try cultivated meat. This ban contains inaccurate information and could prevent our agri-foods from becoming more sustainable while stopping Italian consumers from having extra protein options. Not only is it a poor policy, but it may also be unconstitutional. A better approach would be collaborating with organizations and examining how these innovations can fit into conventional agriculture to accomplish climate and food security targets.


Italy must catch up as the rest of Europe and the world progress towards a more secure and sustainable food system. The EU understood that a transition to resilient food production is necessary. However, this potential ban could obstruct Italy and the EU from leading this revolution and creating a dependable food supply in the face of poor supply chains, rising domestic and foreign shortages, and its prominence in the global agri-food industry - one of Europe's distinguished fields.


In order to break into the European Union (EU) market, food products must get the go-ahead from the European Commission following a comprehensive assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Receiving this approval is highly esteemed worldwide as a symbol of security; therefore, there is no need for Italian intervention since, once approved in Europe, consumers are guaranteed that products are safe. Furthermore, global bodies such as the US Food & Drug Administration and the Singapore Food Agency have also expressed their confidence in cultivated product applications, thus endorsing their safety.


Peer-reviewed research has shown that cultivated meat produces 92% fewer emissions than conventional beef. It could also reduce air pollution associated with meat production by up to 94% and use up to 90% less land – allowing us to use more sustainable farming practices to meet the growing demand for meat while protecting the environment.


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