EU has no plan to clearly label food containing insects, official confirms

The EU has no plans to require food makers to clearly label when a product contains insects, an official from the bloc has confirmed.

Stella Kyriakides, EU health and food safety commissioner, confirmed the bloc has no plans to force manufacturers to clearly label whether a food product contains insects.

It comes shortly after the union approved the use of house crickets and powdered mealworms in products for human consumption, with officials saying the insects serve as an “alternative source of protein” for those who wish to consume it.

However, while the union had previously said eating insects would be a choice, and not forced on anyone on the continent, some have raised concerns about whether these insect proteins will be slipped into processed products without labeling. clear, which would force members of the public consuming bugs without even knowing it.

In response to two questions on this subject formally posed to the committee by parliamentarians Charlie Weimers and Robert Roos, Kyriakides confirmed that there were no plans to force food companies to put some kind of “insect logo” on the products containing insects, with only small print. labeling must be required by the bloc.

“The Commission is not currently considering additional labeling requirements for food containing insects, as the existing legal framework ensures that consumers are informed of the content of the food,” said the commissioner, saying that such small lists of ingredients would suffice to inform the average consumer. consumer.

Such a claim was disputed by Weimers, however, who told Breitbart Europe that a lack of clear labeling would make it more likely that members of the bloc would remain misinformed about what they were actually consuming.

“The European Commission is dishonest when it wants to treat the use of critters as a mere food additive and as an environmentally friendly source of protein in our food production,” said the Swedish MEP.

He then compared what was happening in the EU to the dystopian movie Soylent Green, saying not everything should be normalized, even in the name of environmental protection.

“A lot of people feel uncomfortable eating bugs and bugs, and I sympathize with that,” he added. “Not everything should be normalized. Foods that contain arthropods should have a clear, visible marker on the front — not just the Latin name for creep in the ingredient list — so consumers can make an informed decision.

The suggestion that insects could be introduced into EU food products without the knowledge of the general public represents perhaps the most surprising element of the bloc’s quest to normalize insect consumption.

Although Kyriakides says ongoing campaigns by the World Economic Forum to get Westerners to eat insects for environmental reasons have not influenced the EU’s decision to legalize various insect products, the bloc has still driven to the consumption of these little creatures. as an ecological alternative to meat.

Some nation states on the continent have also encouraged children to consider eating insects as normal, with pupils in Dutch and British schools having fed insects as part of environmental awareness campaigns in the respective countries.

Researchers in the UK in particular seem to see children as potentially being used as weapons in their pro-bug-eater campaign, with children seen as having the ability to get other members of their family to start eating. insects.

“Many children have the power to bully, so in some cases they can be great agents of dietary change within the family,” noted British academic Verity Jone.

“I’ve found that once kids know that insects are already, by the very nature of processing, in many of the foods we eat; and are assured that they will not get sick from eating them, they are very open to trying,” she added. “All of the research, for adults and children, indicates that whole insects are off-putting, but ground insects in food are very acceptable.”

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