Voice of Europe

The European Union will soon deem locusts, mealworms, crickets, and grasshoppers safe for human consumption.

The ‘insect industry’ as it’s being called, expects the European Food Safety Authority to announce a ruling that would authorize the sale of bugs as “novel foods” by this fall. The ruling would allow for the mass production of bug-based foods across the continent, the Guardian reports.

Christophe Derrien, the head of the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed, told the London newspaper: “These have a good chance of being given the green light in the coming few weeks.”

“We reckon these authorisations will be a breakthrough for the sector so we are looking for those authorisations quite impatiently. They are taking the necessary time, they are very demanding on information, which is not bad. But we believe that once we have the first novel food given a green light from EFSA that will have a snowball effect,” Derrien added.

Key figures in the bugs-as-food industry say that the industry has been stifled as a result of it lacking EU-wide approval.

Netherlands, Denmark, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Belgium all took lax approaches to a 1997 law passed by the EU that required food products which have had no history of being consumed as food to be classified as “novel food”. At the same time, the new law resulted in countries like Italy, Spain, and France banning the sale of bugs as food.

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EU food authority to approve insects for human consumption