Sorry, Bill Gates: Italy Bans Lab-Grown Meat And Synthetic Foods To Protect Farmers And Traditions

Italy's government recently backed legislation that would outlaw lab-grown meat and other synthetic foods, allowing fines for anyone who makes or sells it.

By Nicole Dominique1 min read
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Italy recently endorsed legislation that would ban lab-grown meat and synthetic food, fining those making or selling it up to €60,000. The bill will also apply to lab-grown fish and synthetic milk. The proposed bill comes after the country banned bug-based flour made from crickets, locusts, and insect larvae. “It’s fundamental that these flours are not confused with food made in Italy,” said agriculture minister Francesco Lollobrigida.

Lollobrigida has spoken out about the importance of protecting Italy's cuisine tradition and was supported by farmers. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has shown her support for the legislation as well. "We could not but celebrate with our farmers a measure that places Italy at the forefront, not only on the issue of defending excellence, a matter that is particularly important to us, but also on the issue of consumer protection," she said.

Health Minister Orazio Schillaci shared his two cents on the announcement. "We reaffirm the maximum level of protection of citizens' health and the safeguarding of our nation's heritage and our agri-food culture which is based on the Mediterranean diet."

The push for synthetic foods and lab-grown meats has become prevalent in the U.S. In 2021, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates discussed his support of rich countries shifting to lab-grown meats and plant-based foods. "I do think all rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference, and the claim is they’re going to make it taste even better over time," Gates claimed. "Eventually, that green premium is modest enough that you can sort of change the [behavior of] people or use regulation to totally shift the demand."

The country of Italy currently has one of the highest life expectancies in the world at 84 years old, according to United Nations Population Division estimates. Their typical meals include pasta, protein, cheese, vegetables, fruits, and olive oil – a diet full of whole, organic foods instead of synthetic junk.

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