Consumers have an easy access to all the information they need on insect-based products, ValuSect is pleased to confirm. The European Commission, through the voice of European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Ms Stella Kyriakides, insisted that consumers are already well informed about insects as food ingredients, when answering MEPs’ questions on insect consumption.
The European Commission has made it clear that food processors wishing to place insect-based food on the market already have a responsibility to inform consumers about the presence of insects in their food, in conformity with the law. Furthermore, for any food product, the indication of the entire list of ingredients (which includes the specific name of the insects included in the recipe of insects-based products and ingredients), is mandatory on the packaging.
The European Commission has also highlighted the need for clear legibility, meaning that consumers should be able to easily access and read the information on insects. This is why the legislation also includes further requirements on the font size, the use of conspicuous, easily visible space, and the use of indelible ink. In addition, the law requires that a statement indicating the possible cause of an allergic reaction must be mentioned on the label.
With regards to the insect’s species, the European Commission explained that the legal name of the insect must be used, in accordance with the law, which means that food processors have to use the Latin (scientific) name of the insect, followed by its common name in brackets.
ValuSect believes in the importance of maintaining such a high level of consumer protection, allowing consumers to be fully informed before deciding to buy insect-based products.
Overall, while the European Commission encourages food business operators to keep facilitating access to food information, which ValuSect supports, it does not consider that the use of an additional and specific label for the use of insect-based ingredients in food is needed.
ValuSect is pleased that the European Commission has taken the time to explain the current European legislation and to reaffirm that consumers already have all the information they need, before purchasing and eating delicious insect products.