Insect sector pleads for regulatory changes

23-09-2016 | |
Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The insect producing sector pleads for the use of insect proteins in aquaculture and asks for guidance in the preparation of ‘novel food’ applications.

At its General Assembly meeting held on 19 September, IPIFF, the European Umbrella Organisation representing the interests of Insect Producers for Food and Feed, called for regulatory changes so as to authorise insect proteins as fish feed. IPIFF also underlined the need for guidance and collaboration in the preparation of ‘novel food’ applications.

IPIFF members comply with rules

‘IPIFF puts the safety of our food and feed first’ said Antoine Hubert, IPIFF President: the IPIFF members producing insects for the EU market only use plant based material as input, for which the European Food Safety Authority found no risk as long as producers comply with best hygiene practices for the rearing and processing of their animals (opinion from 8 October 2015).‘This is precisely the case of the IPIFF members who comply with very stringent risk management procedures, in accordance with the EU food and feed safety legislations’, added Hubert.

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Europe is highly depending in protein imports

For Tarique Arsiwalla, IPIFF Vice President, ‘the fulfilment of these conditions should pave the way for the authorisation of insect PAPS as feed for aquaculture animals’. For IPIFF, ‘a new ‘status quo’ on this issue would hamper the growth of the EU insect producing sector which has a leading global position, whilst restricting the availability of this promising source of protein for EU farmers and customers’, added Arsiwalla. Europe is highly dependent on protein imports (70%) and re- equilibrating this protein imbalance is among Europe’s priorities. Furthermore, allowing the use of insect PAPs in aquaculture will accelerate investments in and further growth of the EU insect producing sector, which has a leading global position.

Workable rules for insect producers

Finally, IPIFF underlined the importance of establishing workable rules for insect producers who are seeking for an authorisation to market their products as food under the new EU Novel Foods legislation: “Collaboration between operators and competent control authorities is also key in this process”, added Antoine Hubert. IPIFF decided to create a strategic Task force in order to accompany its producers in these discussions.

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Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor