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, 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 as regards origin, and the General Food Law 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.
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.
-  Regulation (EU) 2015/2283 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2015 on novel foods, amending Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Regulation (EC) No 1852/2001.
-  Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004.
-  Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety.
-  Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/405 of 24 March 2021 laying down the lists of third countries or regions thereof authorised for the entry into the Union of certain animals and goods intended for human consumption in accordance with Regulation (EU) 2017/625 of the European Parliament and of the Council.