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Parliamentary question - E-000130/2023(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Ms Kyriakides on behalf of the European Commission

Information about the production method is one of the legal requirements under the Novel Food Regulation[1], which is evaluated by the European Food Safety Authority when performing its safety assessment of novel food applications.

Insects as novel foods, like any other food, are subject to all relevant EU requirements such as the labelling Regulation[2] as regards origin, and the General Food Law[3] on traceability.

In addition, insects intended for human consumption from third countries can only be imported into the Union if the third countries comply with the relevant EU requirements and are listed in Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/405[4].

As regards animal welfare, there is no conclusive scientific evidence on the sentience of insects. Under the Farm to Fork Strategy, the Commission will revise the EU legislation on the welfare of farmed animals in 2023.

So far, the science related to the welfare of farmed insects is not sufficiently developed to justify an initiative in this area, but the Commission will closely follow the development of this farming activity and the possible welfare issues related to it.

The Commission shares the view that policy making in the area of food safety needs to be underpinned by strong technical and scientific evidence.

The epidemiological evidence on the potential of insects to provoke primary sensitisation that could lead to allergic reactions when insects are consumed, is limited and equivocal. For this reason, i nformation on allergens must always be available to the consumer to allow them to make informed food choices.

The Commission is currently exploring ways to carry out the necessary research on the allergenicity of insects, including Acheta domesticus, under the Horizon Europe Programme.

Last updated: 27 February 2023
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