Italy can ban synthetic food products, making it the first country in the world to do so, according to Italy’s Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida. He made the remarks during an event in Ireland hosted by the European Conservatives and Reformists group (ECR), Euractiv reported.
Janusz Wojciechowski, European Union Agriculture Commissioner, attended this event. Traditions and Innovation: A Conservative Future for European Farmers brought together senior conservative politicians to address the challenges and opportunities presented by European legislation and collaboration in livestock, agriculture, and the green economy.
The lower house of parliament is debating a bill that would prohibit the production, import, and commercialization of food made in laboratories.
“We chose the precautionary principle. Food quality is fundamental, and we cannot accept a society divided, with quality food produced only for a wealthy elite. We believe that everyone should be able to eat well,” the Italian minister stated.
Lollobrigida’s position was substantially supported by Janusz Wojciechowski (PiS/ECR), the European Commissioner for Agriculture, who spoke during the ECR event in an open dialogue with the Italian minister.
“As Commissioner, I strongly support traditional agriculture and natural products. The labeling system is not up to me, but I try to preserve tradition,” Wojciechowski stated.
“Synthetic meat is not real meat, and synthetic milk is not real milk. I defend the natural product, and in my opinion, using the name of the natural product for the synthetic one is not a step in the right direction,” he said.
Wojciechowski added that the EU Commission provides more than €6 billion to assist animal welfare and, more broadly, traditional farming.
However, the agriculture model advocated by the Conservatives is opposed to the one chosen by the EU, which, according to Fratelli d’Italia, is overly bureaucratic and incapable of addressing the EU’s current issues.
“Farmers, breeders, and fishermen risk paying a very high price for the European Union’s Green Deal, which penalizes producers with emissions reduction targets that will only result in less food production,” explained MEP Carlo Fidanza, leader of Fratelli d’Italia’s delegation to the European Parliament.
“Less food production will only be replaced in the medium term with more imports from countries that do not meet our sustainability and quality standards or with laboratory products about which we have no certainty”, he said.
To change the system, the ECR group must perform well in the June 2024 EU elections and find allies to form an alternative majority to the left in the European Parliament.