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Podcast / The Big Issues
Podcast / The Big Issues

Italy’s cultivated meat ban – permanent or just ciao for now?

In March 2023, Italy’s minister of agriculture, Francesco Lollobrigida, announced that the country will be the first to ban lab-grown foods, including the production and commercialisation of cultivated meat.

The draft bill has been put forward in the name of farmers, to protect them from the perceived threats that what they call “synthetic” foods pose to traditional cuisine.

Those behind the bill also say it will protect human health and the national agri-food industry.

The head of the Italian dairy industry group Assolatte praised the government’s efforts in blocking so-called “unnatural” products that he claims are promoted “under the pretext of protecting the environment”.

But some feel the proposal completely misses the mark, such as Alice Ravenscroft the European Policy Head for the Good Food Institute. She notes that 54% of Italians want to give cultivated meat a try.

She also claims that “the passing of such a law would shut down the economic potential of this nascent field in Italy, holding back scientific progress and climate mitigation efforts”.

So, are lab grown meats a real threat to traditional Italian cuisine? How could Italy’s banning of them affect the food industry? And is the ban ever likely to actually come to fruition?

Sharon Cittone, Founder and CEO, Edible Planet Adventures

Using her extensive experience in communications and business, Sharon has been at the forefront of building and growing the global food and ag tech ecosystem for the better part of a decade. Her work with start-ups, corporations, investors, policymakers, institutions, and youth landed her the title of one of Forbes’ most powerful women shaping the future of food.

Edible Planet Ventures, founded in 2021, is a systemic platform that aims to reshape our food system by convening leading voices and visionaries to collaborate and innovate around the most pressing challenges of today and the future.

Sharon is a Founding Board Member of the AgrifoodTech Italia Association and part of the scientific advisory committee of BAM – Biblioteca degli Alberi. She sits on the Advisory Board of the World Food Programme Italia.

Robert Jones, Chair, Cellular Agriculture Europe & VP Public Affairs, Mosa Meat

Robert is VP Public Affairs at Mosa Meat and brings more than two decades of communications, government affairs, campaigns, and public policy experience to the table. From fighting for science-based fisheries management to supporting innovative alternative protein startups, advising the US Secretary of Commerce, and being a James Beard Foundation trained chef advocate, Robert is passionate about reforming our global food system.

Cellular Agriculture Europe is a coalition of companies that are committed to playing their part in building a more resilient and sustainable future. They are entrepreneurs, innovators, and food lovers, who develop an alternative to the current production process of meat, fish or dairy products. 

They believe in a future where cellular agriculture, in combination with sustainability reforms to conventional agricultural practices, helps Europe meet its growing demand for protein while giving consumers the opportunity to choose delicious, nutritious, and safe meat, seafood and dairy products.

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