Mathilde Alexandre, ProVeg Cell-Ag Project Coordinator, said:
“The bill introduced by the Italian Government to ban cultivated meat is a draconian measure that ignores the massive economic and environmental potential that cultivated meat holds.
“Cultivated meat is an important new technology that can positively affect the food system in reducing carbon emissions, pollution, and supports animal welfare and biodiversity, while being a real lever for economic growth.”
Compared to conventional meat, cultivated meat shows many promises in terms of sustainability. The latest life-cycle assessment shows that cultivated beef could result in a reduction of 92% of carbon footprint if renewable energy is used in the production process, 95% of land use and 78% of water requirements, compared to conventional beef production1. In 2022, the IPCC report listed cellular agriculture as a way to limit pressures on finite natural resources. Given the urgency of the situation, it is imperative that we explore all promising options to make our food system more sustainable and transition to a low-carbon economy and society.
Cultivated meat is a nascent industry that also has the potential to become a major economic driver, creating new jobs and business opportunities. A study by Oxford Economics showed that in the UK for instance, the cultivated meat sector could add over £2 billion to the economy and create 16,500 jobs by 2030. By banning it, Italy could be limiting its own potential for scientific and economic advancement, while other European countries continue to invest in this promising field.
Moreover, Italy could be missing out on an opportunity to diversify its food supply and expand consumer choice.
Cultivated meat will have to undergo the same strict regulatory processes and safety tests as any novel food item before being authorised for commercial use. In the EU, any food products not significantly used for human consumption before May 1997 are considered novel foods. This category includes new foods, food from new sources, new substances used in food, and new technologies for producing food, which cultivated meat falls into. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) assesses the risk of a novel food at the request of the European Commission to ensure it’s safe for consumers.
About ProVeg International
ProVeg is an international food awareness organisation working to transform the global food system by replacing conventional animal-based products with plant-based and cultivated alternatives.
ProVeg works with international decision-making bodies, governments, food producers, investors, the media, and the general public to help the world transition to a society and economy that are less dependent on animal agriculture and more sustainable for humans, animals, and the planet.
ProVeg has permanent-observer status with the UNFCCC, is accredited for UNEA, and has received the United Nations’ Momentum for Change Award. ProVeg also has Observer Status at the IPCC.
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