In a significant move towards preserving food authenticity, the Italian Senate has recently passed a bill banning the production and marketing of synthetic food and feed. This development marks a crucial step in the global discourse on food safety and quality.
The Bill and Its Implications
The bill, which received 93 votes in favor, 28 against, and 33 abstentions, prohibits the use of the term “meat” for foods derived from vegetable proteins. This legislation is now under review by the Chamber of Deputies. The move reflects the growing opposition to synthetic foods among Italians, with a survey by Notosondaggi revealing that 74% of Italians support the bill. Read more about the bill here.
Health and Environmental Concerns
There are numerous potential health risks associated with laboratory-produced foods, ranging from allergies to tumors. Moreover, synthetic foods also pose environmental concerns. Research by Derrick Risner and his team at the University of California in Davis suggests that the global warming potential of synthetic meat is 4 to 25 times higher than that of traditional beef.
Italy’s Role in Food Quality and Safety
As a world leader in food quality and safety, Italy has taken on the responsibility of pioneering health and environmental protection policies. Ettore Prandini, the president of Coldiretti, Italy’s main association of direct farmers, emphasizes the “precautionary principle” that underpins the design of the law. He proposes that lab-produced products should not be equated to food but rather to pharmaceutical products in the authorization processes.
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