Artificial meat and meat sounding soon banned in Italy
Using typical designations of meat and its derivatives to define fake meat made of processed plant-based products will be strictly forbidden by Italian law.
The Senate approved the Bill on artificial meat with a large majority: 93 votes in favour, 28 against, and 33 abstentions. The IX Agriculture and Food Production Committee of the Senate, chaired by Senator Luca De Carlo, thus approved on the evening of 19 July the DDL 651 Bill prohibiting the marketing, import and production of synthetic food in Italy. As part of the ban on meat, food and synthetic feed, an amendment signed by Senators Gian Marco Centinaio and Giorgio Maria Bergesio to protect meat foods from meat sounding was also approved. Therefore, using meat designations and their derivatives to define fake meat made of processed plant-based products will be prohibited.
A double great victory that marks an important step for our country, at the forefront in the world, in protecting traditional Made in Italy food. “It is good that the Senate has approved this rule that prohibits the use of designations on meat products that do not contain meat”, Pietro D’Angeli, president of Assica, comments: “This is a cultural and common-sense battle for fair competition between food business operators. And then, I never understood why plant-based products that care so much to distinguish from meat by diet, nutritional values, even environmental impact, always end up presenting to the public with the designations of the products they distance themselves from.”
“We welcome this important decision”, the President of Assocarni Serafino Cremonini said: “This is a decisive step for the protection of the entire livestock sector because the marketing of plant-based products, using usual and descriptive names referring to meat, can lead Italian consumers to think, wrongly, that these imitations are substitutes equivalent to meat.”
“The question is not to prevent the consumption of plant-based meat substitutes, but simply to call the products by their own name“, Cremonini continues: “It is evident that these products do not have the same nutritional value of natural meat. Although consumers know that in a ‘vegan burger‘ there is no meat” – Cremonini concluded – they could be led to believe that it is a product with equivalent nutritional value. At the same time, they are ultra-processed plant-based foods with chemical additives altering their flavour and texture”.
Decisive in this result, the text written and sent to the Senate by Giuseppe Pulina, full Professor of Ethics and Sustainability of Livestock and among the most authoritative scientists in the world, helped the Senators to have a clearer and more truthful picture of the situation. In the document “Artificial meat, health and the environment: what we know and what we do not know”, requested precisely by the Italian Senate to the Professor to deepen a complex subject that only a few experts can deal with scientific rigour, Pulina focused on food safety and the environmental impacts of artificial meat, based on the latest scientific studies.
The report clearly shows all the potential health hazards due to the use of hormones and antibiotics and the highly proliferative hypertrophic phase of cells in bioreactors, which can interfere with human metabolism and trigger cancer. Also, from the environmental point of view, there is no advantage because, according to very precise estimates, the climate-altering impact of artificial meat is 10 to 50 times higher than that of traditional meat.
The measure approved by the Senate will go to the Chamber of Deputies, where it will have to face further debate and deepening by the Commissions and the Chamber before concluding its process. Within sixty days from the law’s entry into force, the MASAF must issue a decree that will provide a list of the sales designations of food that, if traced back to plant products, can induce the consumers to error on the composition of food. We are confident that the measure will soon become law for a future in which protecting the environment and consumer health from synthetic food and misleading names will be the priority.