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There’s a fly in my soup

Posted on 4th October, 2022

There’s a fly in my soup is an old joke, with many punchlines. The joke is first cited in 1872 and was frequently told in the 1880s. However, the addition of insects to our plates may soon become more common and the Food Standards Agency (FSA) are consulting on the changes needed to provide clarity to a growing edible insect industry.

The proposal involves making necessary legal changes to retained EU law so that edible insects which were permitted to remain on the EU market after changes were made to the Novel Foods (England) Regulations 2018 can continue to remain on the market in Great Britain (GB) while they go through the novel foods’ authorisation process. If agreed by Parliament, the legal changes will come into effect by 31 December 2022.

There’s a fly in my soup
Insects – soon to be on a menu near you?

When the UK left the EU, the transitional measures set out in 2018 relating to novel foods including edible insects were not amended to require businesses to submit authorisation applications to regulators in GB, which is necessary for insects to be approved for the GB market. 

The consultation purpose was to provide clarity to businesses that have been affected by the uncertainty around insects for human consumption since the end of December 2020.

The consultation received responses from members of the public and a range of organisations including food businesses and groups representing the edible insect and alternative protein industry. Comments on the detail of the technical change proposed in the consultation were broadly supportive.

This amendment will provide clarity on which edible insect products can remain on the market, and what steps businesses must take to be able to continue to market their products whilst progressing through the GB novel foods authorisation process. 

The FSA is commissioning an external review of the novel food legislation to ensure it is the best fit for the GB market. This review fits with the aims of the recently issued Retained EU Law (Reform and Revocation) Bill. The review will inform proposals for future regulation of novel foods that will have consumer interest at its core.  Responses to the consultation can be found on the FSA website.

If you require food safety advice or support for your business, please contact one of the Jacksons team.

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