Twelve EU countries oppose allowing laboratory meat

Twelve EU countries believe that laboratory meat should not be allowed on the food market for the time being. They believe that it is first necessary to investigate what the consequences of this could be, both for public health and for current agricultural and food production.

So far, Italy has been the most outspoken opponent of allowing laboratory meat. An Italian law has even been passed on this, but it is currently being investigated by the EU for possible violations of internal market rules. 

The twelve countries provide a kind of advance warning about the possible consequences of artificial meat in a document to the Agriculture Ministers. “This practice threatens primary farm-based authentic food production methods,” the document said.

The note was prepared by the Austrian, French and Italian delegations and is supported by the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia. The attitude of the twelve countries could cause a rift in the Agriculture Council.

Currently, no laboratory meat is sold in supermarkets in Europe. This is only possible after European approval by the EFSA, in accordance with the current rules for the admission of novel foods, the so-called Novel Food Regulation. It has recently been allowed in Singapore, the United States and Israel; This procedure is already underway in Switzerland.

Within the EU, the Netherlands is leading the way in the production of cell-based meat, after the first laboratory-made hamburger was presented in 2013. Three years ago, Brussels awarded two million euros to the Dutch 'Feed for Meat' project.