Cultivated meat, also known as lab-grown meat, is created in a lab through a five-step process in which stem cells from an animal are replicated and grown in a series of bioreactors before being blended with additives to create a more realistic texture. The meat cells are then drained in a centrifuge, formed, and packaged for distribution, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Company.
In a Nov. 16 Facebook post, Italian Minister of Agriculture Francesco Lollobrigida said, "In defense of health, of the Italian production system, of thousands of jobs, of our culture and tradition, with the law approved today, Italy is the first nation in the world to be safe from the social and economic risks of synthetic food," according to an English translation.
The bill passed the Italian Senate by a measure of 159–53 and was supported by the country's agricultural groups, which worked to protect Italy's $10.1 billion meat-processing industry.
Efforts in the United States to block lab-grown meat, or to ensure that consumers know what they're buying, include a 2018 law in Missouri that prohibits plant-based and lab-grown food from being labeled as "meat."
"??This act also prohibits misrepresenting a product as meat that is not derived from harvested production livestock or poultry," the law states.
On Nov. 13, Florida state Rep. Tyler Sirois filed a bill that aims to prohibit the "manufacturing, sale, holding, or distribution of cultivated meat" in the state.
"Farming and cattle are incredibly important industries to Florida," the Republican legislator told Politico. "So I think this is a very relevant discussion for our state to have."
Should the bill, HB 435, become law, restaurants and stores in violation could be fined up to $5,000, and manufacturers, processors, packers, or distributors who misrepresent or mislabel the food could be fined up to $10,000 per violation.