European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) have warned of the dangerous narrative being constructed around lab-grown proteins, also misleadingly called “lab meat” or “cellular meat”,  by big business actors in a video released last week.

 

The video sheds light on the farmer perspective regarding this unproven and insufficiently tested product, which could sneak its way onto our plates in the coming months.

 

According to ECVC, lab-grown proteins are a direct threat to food sovereignty, i.e., the right of all citizens to define their own agricultural and food system. It is part of the same race towards the industrialisation of agriculture and food led by corporate interests that is causing so much harm to public health, the environment, rural employment and the life of rural areas.

 

“European public funding is being used to promote these products but no public debates took place. It relies on an industrial production of food, concentrated in the hands of few companies, which is extremely dangerous for food sovereignty.” Morgan Ody, farmer in Brittany and member of ECVC’s Coordinating committee says.

 

 

As explained in the info sheet released with the video, ECVC supports the need to reduce the environmental impact of industrial farming and food systems, but underlines that techno-fixes such as lab-grown protein will be of no help to do so.

 

Instead, a genuine transition towards peasant agroecology and food sovereignty should be implemented by promoting small and medium-scale farming, peasants’ rights and  market regulation.

 

Within this transition, sustainable peasant livestock farming is a necessary agroecological practice. It is industrial, corporate-driven farming that fails to ensure the rights of animals, whereas small-scale agroecological livestock farming is fundamental to ensuring  our agricultural system is ecologically, economically and socially coherent and sustainable.

 

Thus, the focus must be implementing policy which supports an agroecological transition to small-scale livestock farming, moving away from large-scale industry farms. To achieve this, the EU must apply the precautionary principle on lab-grown proteins and  ban them from market.

 

ECVC is not the only organisation warning of the dangers and limits of lab-grown proteins. The latest report released by IPES FOOD The Politics of Proteins sheds light on misleading generalisations that dominate public discussion about meat and protein, and warns of the risks of falling for meat techno-fixes.

 

After years of public policies encouraging practices of degradation, the needs of food producers and food consumers must once again be put at the heart of public policy, instead of the interests of big business.

 

Notes

Watch the video in English (with ES subtitles) or in French. Read the info document in EN, FR or ES.

 

Contacts
Morgan Ody, ECVC Coordinating Committee – +33 626 97 76 43 – FR, EN
Andoni García Arriola, ECVC Coordinating Committee, +34636451569 – ES, EUS
Email: press@eurovia.org