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EU green lights insect protein for aquafeed

The move is expected to reducing trawling in oceans for fishmeal. (Image source: Hardrockster/Pixabay)

EU countries representatives have voted in favour of the European Commission proposal to open the aquaculture feed market for insect derived protein from July 2017

The vote took place following a discussion on the proposal in a meeting of the biological safety of the food chain section of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF).

The text will be formally adopted during the spring 2017, which means that insect proteins should be effectively authorised for use in fish feed as from 1 July 2017. The decision removed the last barrier to the use of insects in fish feed in the EU.

IPIFF, the European Umbrella Organisation representing the interests of the Insect Production sector for Food and Feed, welcomed the move. IPIFF president Antoine Hubert said, “We are particularly pleased with the move made by EU institutions: the opening of this legislation is in our view a major milestone towards the development of the European insect production sector.”

Pointing out the statement released by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which concluded that insects fed with plant based materials entail no risks if insect producers comply with best hygiene practices, IPIFF vice president Tarique Arsiwalla said, “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.”

Looking ahead, IPIFF expressed the will to pursue efforts towards a possible authorisation of insect proteins to other non-ruminant species (eg pigs and poultry) or to allow the use of other ‘high grade’ materials to feed their insects. “We will plead for further relaxation of EU rules, in case safety conditions associated with these new routes have been demonstrated,” explained Hubert. The recent ABN Amro report on this topic expects approval of insect meal for pigs and poultry in 2020.