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EFSA’s favorable opinion on insect meal safety for human consumption

Thursday, January 14, 2021

For the first time, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a favorable opinion on the safety of dried yellow mealworm (Tenebrio molitor), concluding that it is safe for human consumption. 

This opinion results from the application submitted by French insect company Agronutris in 2018. EFSA recognizes the unique and unprecedented nature of the data collected and the processes developed by Agronutris during the last ten years.

According to Agronutris' co-founder, Cedric Auriol, “it is a real step for our company and the industry. Thanks to ten years of R&D, we are proud to contribute to the emergence of the edible insects' sector in Europe.” For more than ten years of research and development in insect breeding, the company has been able to generate and accumulate unique data on the biology, microbiology, toxicology and nutritional composition of insects, allowing it to file the first European application for assessment.

According to the IPIFF president, Antoine Hubert, “the release of this document indeed represents an important milestone towards the wider EU commercialization of edible insects. Furthermore, it constitutes a major step forward for other European producers of yellow mealworm and other edible insect species for which a novel food application has been submitted.” 

According to EU procedures, the European Commission must now submit a draft proposal to the EU members states in view of authorizing the product on the EU market. “We are hoping that these final steps will lead to allowing the marketing of this product by mid-2021,” Agronutris said.

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