January 21
2021
Anjum Shabbir
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14th January 2021
Consumer, Health & Environment

Are insects safe to eat? European Food Safety Authority provides its scientific opinion for EU policymakers to decide

The Novel Food Regulation 2015/2283 that came into effect on 1 January 2018, covers edible insects (‘food consisting of, isolated from, or produced from animals or their parts’), which must however be reviewed before such products can be authorised to be placed on the market in the EU.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued its most recent scientific opinions carrying out safety evaluations on novel food applications, including the first completed assessment of a proposed insect-derived food product, which will be taken into account by EU policymakers.

On whether insects are edible, the Agency took into account that insects are complex organisms, that there is wide diversity among species, that they are high in protein, but also the presence of other substances and the relevance of food allergies that could be triggered.

For more information on the legal issues relating to novel food products read this Op-Ed by Sabrina Röttger-Wirtz and Alie de Boer, and the Opinion of Advocate General Bobek in the Court of Justice’s case Entoma (C-526/19) on the interpretation of novel food legislation.

Read EFSA’s press release here.

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