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Sustainable Food Systems: EU Regulatory Framework and Contribution of Insects to the Farm-To-Fork Strategy

European Union

Oct 12, 2022

The ‘Farm-to-Fork’ strategy aims to accelerate the transition to a sustainable food system and to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally-friendly. Insects contribute to the circularity of agriculture, and are ideal candidates to complement traditional sources of protein. The placement of insects on the EU food market needs to be authorized by the Commission following a risk assessment. To date, three insect species have been approved for their commercialization, while the use of insect proteins in feed is strictly regulated. Insect farming is an expanding industry in Europe, and more consumers want to try insect-based foods. To consolidate the insect market, it is very important to assure their safety. EFSA is the body in charge of assessing the risks related to the production and consumption of insects as food. Aside from the risks posed by contaminants or pathogens, insects may be a threat for certain allergic consumers, who might develop an adverse reaction mainly due to a cross-reactivity to crustaceans and/or house dust mites. Overall, the entry of insects into the EU market represents a great opportunity for the economic and ecological growth of the Community, however consumers need to be exhaustively informed and protected.

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