HomeMarkets'Synthetic meat' and 'meat sounding', the Italian law self-extinguishes

'Synthetic meat' and 'meat sounding', the Italian law self-extinguishes

The Italian law that should have banned 'synthetic meat' and 'meat sounding' on plant-based products immediately self-extinguished, in Brussels, like an ultra-light cigarette. Here because. #CleanSpades.

1) 'Synthetic meat' and 'meat sounding', the imaginary enemies of Coldiretti and Italian politics

Coldiretti – in his continuous search for imaginary enemies against which to wage epic battles, to strengthen associative unity and distract farmers from real problems (1) – has found an ideal target in cellular agriculture. And so he created the monster of 'synthetic meat' produced in the laboratory which, according to him, would threaten 'made in Italy' foods of animal origin. As if suddenly industries (which don't exist) could produce and market tens of millions of tons of 'synthetic meat' and consumers all over the planet decided to prefer these to Piedmontese ribs or San Daniele ham.

Italian parliamentarians of every color (now faded) have therefore adopted by plebiscite majority, as we have seen, the bill ordered by Palazzo Rospigliosi to ban the import, production, sale and export of products made with cellular agriculture. In addition to banning all references to names of meat and food of animal origin on the labels and advertising ofprocessed products containing exclusively vegetable proteins. (2) Another imaginary enemy, as if consumers have ever confused a 'veggie burger' with a hamburger. And president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini went so far as to attack one of the few dissident senators in Rome, in front of Palazzo Chigi. (3)

2) Francesco Lollobrigida, the imaginary fighter

The Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida has made Coldiretti's terminology and dialectics his own to carry on the imaginary battle against 'synthetic meat' also in Brussels. Stating - falsely, as we have seen (4) - that the absence of European rules capable of guaranteeing the evaluation of the food safety of 'cell cultures'. That is, ignoring:

– their inclusion in the scope of the Novel Food Regulation (EU) No 2015/2283, whose rapporteur at the European Parliament was, among other things, an Italian MEP (Gianni Pittella)

– EFSA's favorable assessment of the first food ingredients created through cell culture of Swiss apples, five months before the approval of the Italian law, (5)

– the work started by FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization) as early as 2022 to reach an international scientific consensus on precision agriculture. (6)

3) Brussels, the imaginary battle and the self-extinct law

The imaginary battle against 'cultivated meat' was the first response of the president of Coldiretti Ettore Prandini and the minister of agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida to the thousands of farmers who have been blocking Italian roads for a couple of weeks to protest against the real problems that afflict them. Sales #belowcost, inability to obtain a #fairprice and thus lead a dignified existence for themselves and their families. (7)

Italian law against 'synthetic meat' and 'meat sounding' has, however, self-extinguished itself, in less than two months after its notification to Brussels. Not because of the imaginary enemy 'Europe' but precisely because the Meloni government:

– after a first notification to the European Commission of the relevant bill, on 27 July 2023, (8) as required for all schemes of national technical standards on the production and marketing of goods in the Single Market

– collected a series of observations on the illegitimacy of the bill, (9) also because it is based on false assumptions (the non-existence of European rules on the topic. See the previous paragraph 2), and so

– withdrew the aforementioned notification, on 30 October 2023, for unknown reasons worthy of investigation (to verify the possible existence of the crime of false declarations in a public act), (10)

– submitted a second notification to Brussels, on 1 December 2023, (11) the same day as the law was published in the Official Journal of the Italian Republic. Too late.

4) The Brussels certificate

The European Commission – in its all too often forgotten role (12) as guarantor of the Treaty – has simply certified the self-extinction of the Italian law under review, like a notary certifying the death of a suicide.

'The Commission informs that the above notification was closed on 29-01-2024 for the following reason:

The text was adopted by the Member State before the end of the standstill period referred to in Article 6 of Directive (EU) 2015/1535. The Commission therefore invites the Member State concerned to inform it of the follow-up, also in light of the relevant jurisprudence of the Court of Justice. There are no further comments from the Commission at this stage'. (13)

The European executive was not even able to examine the Italian law - which in the meantime has gathered around ten oppositions, including a detailed opinion from Lithuania and nine contributions from stakeholders - because the law, like a self-extinguishing cigarette (like all, in the EU, since 2016 ) – it turned off on its own. Combination, just when the president of Coldiretti and the minister of agriculture were trying to turn it on in front of thousands of protesting farmers who were literally burning a tree in the square of the European Parliament.

5) Synthetic food and false rhetoric

Precision agriculture has in fact achieved the theoretical possibility of reproducing animal cells in a laboratory environment. The 'cultured chicken cell meat' and the first two production plants in the USA have obtained both authorization from the competent federal authorities and confirmation of compatibility with kosher and halal standards, as we have seen. (14) In December 2023, the Ministry of Health in Israel also authorized Aleph Farms to produce 'cultured' beef steaks. (15)

The costs of production however, are still extraordinarily high, industrial-scale production still seems a long way off, and the products will still have to undergo the lengthy authorisation procedure as novel food in the European Union before they can be marketed. The family and peasant agriculture that still characterizes the EU (95% of agricultural companies. Eurostat, 2020) could become extinct sooner, precisely because of the agricultural policies desired by Coldiretti and the other large agricultural confederations. (1)

The real 'synthetic food' at hand is instead the one derived from old and new GMOs (NGTs, New Genomic Techniques), which have already mixed animal and plant genes (ie Piggy Sooy). (16) Its protagonists are the same seed and pesticide monopolists who will thus aggravate the dependence and production costs of small European farmers, and then incorporate their companies into the giga-companies that already now hold 52,5% of the agricultural surface used in the EU. Thanks to the 'deregulation' invoked by Coldiretti and the 'brother-in-law', at the vote in the European Parliament on 7 February 2024. (17)

#CleanSpades

Dario Dongo

Footnotes

(1) Dario Dongo. January 31, 2024, the day of the farmers' protest in Italy. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 31.1.24

(2) Dario Dongo. Italy, the Senate approves the law banning cellular agriculture and 'meat sounding'. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 24.7.23

(3) The president of Coldiretti insults and attacks Della Vedova, the police force him away. Video. Il Fatto Quotidiano. 16.1.24 http://tinyurl.com/yc4w83h4

(4) Dario Dongo. Cellular agriculture and 'meat sounding', the Italian law in the Official Journal. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 2.12.23

(5) Dario Dongo, Andrea Adelmo Della Penna. EFSA gives the green light to the first novel food from cellular agriculture. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 6.10.23

(6) FAO. Cell-based food and precision fermentation. Overview http://tinyurl.com/4aknkzka

(7) Dario Dongo. Italy, farmers protest against Coldiretti. #CleanSpades. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 26.1.24

(8) Dario Dongo. TOcellular agriculture and 'meat sounding', Italy under the EU lens. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 5.10.23

(9) 'Provisions on the prohibition of the production and marketing of food and feed consisting of, isolated from or produced from cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals and on the prohibition of the designation as meat (…)'. https://tinyurl.com/5579vav3 Notification No 2023/0469/IT (Italy)

(10) Dario Dongo. Cellular agriculture, the Parliament in Italy approves the ban. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 15.11.23

(11) European Commission. TRIS Database. Notification 2023/0675/IT (Italy). End of the standstill period 4.3.24 http://tinyurl.com/yc2xuv7r

(12) See paragraph 3 of the previous article by Dario Dongo. Decree on the origin of the wheat on the pasta label, the Lazio TAR and EU rules. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 27.1.23

(13) European Commission. Communication TRIS/(2023) 0244. Directive (EU) 2015/1535.
Notification: 2023/675/IT. Premature closure of the notification procedure http://tinyurl.com/2vh2zr66

(14) Dario Dongo. Chicken meat from cellular agriculture, green light in the USA and kosher certification. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 19.9.23

(15) Aleph Farms Granted World's First Regulatory Approval for Cultivated Beef. Aleph Farms. 17.1.24 https://aleph-farms.com/journals/aleph-farms-granted-worlds-first-regulatory-approval-for-cultivated-beef/

(16) Dario Dongo. Molecular agriculture, GMO soy with pig genes. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 3.1.24

(17) Dario Dongo. NGTs, new GMOs, deregulation advances. GIFT (Great Italian Food Trade). 24.1.24

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Dario Dongo, lawyer and journalist, PhD in international food law, founder of WIISE (FARE - GIFT - Food Times) and Égalité.

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