The Coldiretti investigation
Seven out of ten Italians (70%) are against the marketing of artificial food produced in laboratories from meat to milk to fish, which financial power groups are trying to impose on world markets despite doubts about the long-term effects on human health and the environment. This is what emerges from the Coldiretti/Censis investigation in reference to the promulgation by the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella of the provision which introduces the ban on the production and marketing of cell-based foods for food use or animal feed, after notification to Brussels. The law is a commitment to defend the Mediterranean diet but also - underlines Coldiretti - an important signal for the European Union which, in compliance with the precautionary principle, has already led for over 40 years to banning the use of of hormones which are instead used in the production processes of cell-based meat. Furthermore - Coldiretti specifies - the Agriculture Commission of the European Parliament has already expressed its opinion on artificially grown meat in the resolution on proteins, rejecting by a large majority an amendment which identified laboratory-grown proteins as one of the possible solutions to the problem of the dependence of European livestock farms on supplies from abroad.
“Italy, which is a world leader in food quality and safety, has the duty to lead the way in policies to protect the health of citizens” states the president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini in specifying that “it is not the first time that we act as pioneers in Europe as demonstrated by the fact that after mad cow disease we were the first country to adopt national rules for the obligation to label the origin of food, towards which the European Union is progressively aligning itself with the overcoming of doubts and disputes that they are now part of the past." A possible request for marketing authorization that were to reach the EU - according to Coldiretti - could not be assessed with the ordinary procedures for novel foods but for the ingredients used the same procedures as for medicines must be applied in the European Union, which require of in-depth experimental tests. A need in light of the fact that, from allergies to tumors, there are 53 potential health dangers linked to laboratory-produced foods identified in the FAO and WHO Report which speaks of "Cell-based food", a definition considered clearer than the term “cultivated” (for example “cultured meat”), preferred by the manufacturing industries because it is more attractive but considered to be misleading by the two world authorities, who also note that the word “synthetic” is also used by the academic world as well as by the media.
A long battle
A battle against artificial food began on 10 November 2022 with the start of the great mobilization of Coldiretti which led to the collection of over 2 million signatures in support of the measure, with over 2 thousand municipalities who voted in favor, often to unanimity, all the Regions of every political color and exponents of all sides as well as Ministers and Undersecretaries, national and European Parliamentarians and Mayors. Without forgetting the unprecedented, broad and composite alliance to claim the defense of the culture of quality food and push against the artificial and synthetic one which includes Acli, AcliTerra, Adusbef, Altritalia Ambiente, Anpit, Asi, AssoBio, Centro Consumatori Italia, Cia, Cna, Città del Vino, Città dell'Olio, Codacons, Codici, Confartigianato, Consiglio Nazionale Giovani, Consulta District del Cibo, Ctg, Coldiretti, Demeter, Ecofuturo, Ewa, Fare Ambiente, Federbio, Federparchi, Fipe, Fondazione Qualivita, Una Foundation, UniVerde Foundation, Globe, Greenaccord, Gre, Isvumi, Italia Nostra, Kyoto Club, Lega Consumers, Masci, Movimento Consumatori, Naturasi, Per – Patto Ecologista Riformista, Pris, Salesiani per il social, Slow food Italia, Unpli, Vas – Greens Environment and Society, Wilderness.
The bill from a few months ago
On the basis of the Coldiretti mobilization, on March 28th the Council of Ministers presented the bill that prohibits the trade and production in Italy of meat and other foods obtained in laboratories, proposed by the Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty Francesco Lollobrigida and by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. A provision also supported and approved by the Conference of Regions on 19 April 2023 before entering the Senate on 19 July, where the bill passed the House with 93 votes in favour, 28 against and 33 abstentions. The battle against synthetic or artificial food has extended internationally with the agreement signed in the historic Grown Nyc farmer's market in Union Square in New York on 28 June by the president of the World Farmers Markets Coalition, Richard McCarthy. A reality that involves 250 thousand farmers and families on different continents, from the USA to Australia, from Japan to Ghana up to numerous European countries.
Risks not well explored
It is no coincidence that in countries where sales such as Israel have been permitted, before consumption, signatures on a release from liability and health consequences are requested - specifies Coldiretti. But – continues Coldiretti – there are also concerns on an environmental level. The results of the research carried out by Derrick Risner and his colleagues at the University of California at Davis – concludes Coldiretti – have highlighted that the global warming potential of synthetic meat defined in carbon dioxide equivalents emitted for each kilogram produced is from 4 to 25 times higher than that of traditional beef (source: Coldiretti).