The Italian government has approved a bill which will see synthetic meat banned.
The bill, proposed by the country’s agriculture, food sovereignty and forestry minister Francesco Lollobrigida and its health minister Orazio Schillaci contains provisions to ban the production and marketing of synthetic food and feed.
A government statement said that "in the absence of specific European legislation on foods and synthetic foods”, the Meloni government has decided to intervene “as a precaution at a national level to protect the interests that are linked to health and cultural heritage”.
Agriculture minister Lollobrigida said: “We wanted to protect our culture and our tradition, including food and wine.
"If the production of synthetic foods were to be imposed on the markets, there would be greater unemployment, more risks for biodiversity and products which, in our opinion, would not guarantee well-being. There is no persecutory attitude but a strong desire to protect."
The bill’s provisions would “ensure the highest level of protection of citizens' health and to preserve the agri-food heritage”, the government said after the bill passed.
The ban will be imposed on the preparation of food or drink, selling, holding for sale, importing, producing for exporting, administering or otherwise distributing for food consumption, food or feed consisting of isolated or produced from cell cultures or tissues derived from vertebrate animals.
Violators could face a fine ranging from €10,000 up to a maximum of 10% of the turnover achieved in the year prior to the violation.
The agriculture and health ministries will carry out monitoring of the food industry for violations.