8th September 2022
The Food Standards Agency (FSA) has set out plans to allow edible insects to remain on the market while they go through the Novel Foods authorisation process to assess their safety. The plans are detailed in a short public consultation launched in July and which closed in August 2022. The proposals will allow edible insects to remain on sale if they were marketed in the EU or the UK before 1 January 2018 and were the subject of an application to the EU for authorisation as a novel food by 1 January 2019.
Edible insect producers will have until 31 December 2023 to apply to the FSA for authorisation for the insect products which will then be allowed to remain on the market while the application is assessed.
A four-week public consultation was launched in July on the FSA’s proposals to correct deficiencies in national (England only) legislation relating to animal feed, food contact materials and extraction solvents. This is required to ensure that legislation operates effectively following the UK’s exit from the European Union. Currently, the relevant national legislation for animal feed, food contact materials and extraction solvents contain inconsistencies following the UK’s exit from the EU.
The FSA is proposing to remove the requirement to use the DO NOT EAT’ pictograph (as shown below) on active or intelligent materials intended to come into contact with food which are placed on to the market in England, Scotland and Wales. The pictograph is currently used, along with the words ‘DO NOT EAT’ on food contact materials such as oxygen scavengers and moisture absorbers that are inserted into packs of food.
Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, Regulation (EC) No 450/2009 on active and intelligent materials and articles intended to come into contact with food has been retained (subject to amendments) and now forms part of domestic food law, applicable in England, Scotland and Wales. Article 11 of the retained Regulation sets out specific labelling requirements. The legislation currently provides that, “to allow identification by the consumer of non-edible parts, active and intelligent materials and articles or parts thereof shall be labelled, whenever they are perceived as edible, with the words ‘DO NOT EAT’ (capitalised); and with the pictograph specified in the Regulation, where it is technically possible”. The FSA proposes to remove the requirement regarding the pictograph. The application of the words DO NOT EAT will continue to be a mandatory labelling requirement.