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Rome, Nov 25: Italy has created history by becoming the first country globally to ban the production, sale, and import of cultivated meat, produced through the cultivation of animal cells rather than traditional slaughter methods. The legislation also prohibits the use of terms like “salami” and “steak” for marketing plant-based meat substitutes. The law, passed after extensive debate, imposes fines of up to 60,000 euros for violations.

This groundbreaking move comes as other countries, including Germany and Spain, invest heavily in research to enhance cultivated meat production processes. Advocates argue that cultivated meat is more sustainable, with a smaller environmental impact compared to traditional animal-derived meat. It is also considered healthier as it avoids the use of hormones and antibiotics, potentially being more cost-effective.

Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida, in a social media post, highlighted the law’s aim to safeguard Italy’s culinary traditions and jobs in the agricultural sector. He stated, “Italy is the first nation in the world to be safe from the social and economic risks of synthetic food.”

Earlier this year, Italy also took a step toward allowing the production and sale of food made from insects, setting guidelines for product identification in the marketplace. However, widespread availability of insect-based protein in Italy is expected to take several years.