Italian Cultivated Meat Ban Violated EU Procedure

The European Commission has said that Italy’s ban on Cultivated Meat was in violation of a key EU scrutiny procedure.

Global food industry experts, Advanced Food Regulation, commented that this is because the Italian Government passed the ban before member states and the Commission had the opportunity to present their views.

The Italian Government instituted the ban in November 2023, which restricts the production and marketing of cultivated meat products. It also prevents the use of terms such as “salami” or “steak” for plant-based products and introduced fines of up to €60,000 per violation.

Under the TRIS directive, which is designed to prevent regulatory barriers arising within the EU’s internal market, member states be given the opportunity to comment on any draft law that might hinder the European single market before it can be passed by a national parliament.

However, the Italian Government acted before this process took place and therefore the Commission was forced to close the procedure, which means that Italy’s national courts could declare the law unenforceable.

To speed up the law’s approval, the Italian Government withdrew an earlier TRIS notification in October 2023 and then claimed that the ban was compatible with single market rules.

EU executive spokesperson for internal market, Johanna Bernsel, has since clarified that “the law was passed in violation of the suspensive terms of the TRIS regulation”.

Our team of emerging food regulatory consultants can assist you in navigating the Italian market.