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Months after voting to ban the production and sale of cell-based meat in the country, the Italian government has withdrawn its notification of the proposed bill to the EU.

Withdrawing two proposed laws that were under consideration by the EU, the first was a bill seeking to prohibit the production and marketing of cell-based meat, and the second, a regulation aimed at restricting the use of terms like 'steak' on plant-based meat product labels.

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

The bill, which was framed to protect Italian cultural traditions and heritage, secured approval from the Italian Senate in July, with 60% of senators voting in favour of it. However, the bill was still awaiting endorsement by Italy’s 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 cell-based meat, it requires EU approval, with other member states having the opportunity to express their views.

However, in light of ongoing parliamentary deliberations and potential modifications, Italy has withdrawn its TRIS notification.

Italian government U-turns on cell-based meat ban

Phoebe Fraser

24 October 2023

Italian government U-turns on cell-based meat ban

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