The Italian Parliament has approved a law on Thursday that bans the production and sale of synthetic foods, such as processed meat. This decision makes Italy the first country in Europe to introduce this measure.
The rule, initiated by the Government of the far right Giorgia Meloni, argues the inconsistencies of foods that can cause these foods in terms of nutrition and the lack of scientific studies, although the argument caused much controversy among the opposition, highlighting the lack of science. conclusions justifying its complete prohibition.
Likewise, opponents of the law pointed out that the principle of free circulation of goods in the European Union could be contradicted if the sale of synthetic foods produced in other countries was also prohibited.
The law provides that the sale of this type of food will be fined between 10,000 and 60,000 euros, or 10% of the business volume if there is an income of more than 60,000 euros.
Debate in the Chamber of Deputies
The debate on the law in the Chamber of Deputies, which was postponed due to doubts about its compatibility with European law, was accompanied by confrontations outside the Parliament between supporters of the behavior called by Coldiretti, the largest association of livestock farmers and country farmers, and opposites.
“We want to protect public health and avoid unemployment. There is a risk of social injustice with synthetic foods, with a society where the rich eat well and the poor do not,” justified the Minister of Agriculture , Francesco Lollobrigida, when the bill was approved in March. According to Lollobrigida, the intention of the Italian Executive is not “persecutory”, but trying to protect “health” and the “environment.”
For his part, the Minister of Health, Orazio Schillaci, argued that the decision was made as a way to “protect” the country’s agri-food heritage and culture, “based on the Mediterranean diet.”
“The law against synthetic foods is important: it is based on the precautionary principle because currently there are no scientific studies on its effects. We guarantee the highest level of protection of the health of citizens and the preservation of the heritage of our country “Said Schillaci.
The Government of Meloni has already signed four decrees to provide more information to consumers about foods “not found in the traditional diet” and which, among other measures, force supermarkets to separate the flours made by insects from other products. .