AUSTRIA – Austrian, French, and Italian delegations are set to oppose cultivated meat production at an upcoming meeting of EU agriculture ministers.

In a letter to the Council of Ministers, the countries described the cultivated meat industry as a threat to primary farm-based approaches and a danger to genuine food production methods.

They argued that the EU has not authorized any animal products based on cell cultivation techniques and called for a transparent, science-based, and comprehensive approach to assess the development of lab-grown meat.

The delegations of Czechia, Cyprus, Hungary, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, and Slovakia have also supported this stance.

The letter raises concerns about the safety of lab-grown meat, the prevention of market monopolies, the real carbon footprint of cultivated meat, and animal welfare standards.

Critics argued that the statement spreads misinformation and undermines Europe’s regulatory system for alternative proteins.

The Good Food Institute Europe emphasized the potential of cultivated meat to improve food security, reduce emissions, and meet growing meat demand.

Italy, in particular, has been vocal against cultivated meat, having approved a ban on its manufacture, sale, and import last November.

The ban awaits final approval from the EU. Singapore, the US, and Israel are the only countries that have approved cultivated meat production to date.

Olymel announces job cuts at Red Deer plant due to overstaffing

Meanwhile, Canadian meat processor Olymel is set to cut around 100 jobs at its Red Deer plant in Alberta.

The company attributed the job cuts to overstaffing, citing the pressures faced by the global pork production and processing industry over the past three years.

Olymel had previously announced an overstaffing situation at the Red Deer plant, prompting the reduction in the workforce.

Temporary lay-off notices have already been issued, and additional lay-offs are planned in the coming weeks.

Olymel emphasized that the lay-offs are temporary, and employees may be recalled based on the evolving situation and the success of measures like an early retirement incentive program. Last year, Olymel faced plant closures and job cuts across various facilities.

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