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Italy withdraws bill to ban cultivated meat

October 20, 2023

The Italian government has apparently withdrawn two proposed laws that were under consideration by the European Union. The first was a bill seeking to prohibit the production and marketing of lab-grown meat, and the second, a regulation aimed at restricting the use of terms like 'salami' or 'steak' on plant-based meat product labels.

In March of this year, Italy's far-right government, led by Giorgia Meloni, introduced a draft law with the objective of outlawing lab-grown food in Italy, encompassing cultivated meat. The penalties for those involved in the production or trade of such proteins included a hefty €60,000 fine and the possibility of having their production facilities shut down.

The bill, framed to protect Italian cultural traditions and heritage, secured approval from the Italian Senate in July, with 60% of senators voting in favor. Nonetheless, the bill was still awaiting endorsement by the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Italian parliament.

Italy had previously submitted what is known as a Technical Regulations Information System (TRIS) notification to the EU. This procedure is designed to prevent the creation of trade barriers among EU member states. In essence, if Italy wishes to enforce a ban on cultivated meat, it requires EU approval, with other member states of the bloc having the opportunity to express their views on the matter.

However, in light of ongoing parliamentary deliberations and potential modifications, Italy has, according to the animal advocacy group Essere Animali, withdrawn its TRIS notification.

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