Food producers in the European Union will be allowed to use cricket powder in flour-based products when a new statute takes effect on Tuesday, according to The Daily Wire.
The European Food Safety Authority found that mass-market consumption of partially defatted house cricket powder is "safe under the proposed conditions" of use levels, following a review launched three years ago.
According to the new regulation, cricket powder will now be allowed in food products such as multigrain bread, crackers, cereal bars, biscuits, beer-like beverages, chocolates, sauces, whey powder, soups, and other items "intended for the general population."
The company that submitted the original application for authorization, Cricket One, states the insects are "nutritionally more efficient" than livestock and serve as a more reliable "source of alternative protein."
The regulation also mentioned "limited published evidence on food allergy related to insects in general" and linked Acheta domesticus, the house cricket, to several "anaphylaxis events."
Also, the food safety authority concluded that "consumption of this novel food may trigger sensitisation" to the insect's proteins and recommended further research.
Because the evidence on allergic reactions triggered by cricket powder is "inconclusive," the European Commission decided that "no specific labelling requirements" were needed in the EU list of authorized novel foods "[u]ntil the data generated by the research is assessed by the Authority."
The New York Allergy and Sinus Centers, however, have found that it "is not uncommon to experience anaphylaxis from eating crickets."
People who are allergic to shellfish, the medical center asserts, "may develop an allergy to crickets" because the species share many of the same proteins. Those who suffer from an allergy to cockroaches "may react to crickets," as well.
"While crickets are considered safe and healthy to eat, for those who are allergic, they pose a serious threat," the group said. "When ingested, crickets can cause anaphylaxis and other serious reactions."
As policymakers express concern about the impact of livestock on climate change, proposals are floated for increasing the consumption of insects.
The World Economic Forum is one organization that has often promoted the idea of alternative food sources in an effort to reduce carbon emissions.
"Insects are a credible and efficient alternative protein source requiring fewer resources than conventional breeding," one article from the organization reads. "Studies suggest that for the same amount of protein produced, insects, mealworms in particular, require much less land than other sources of animal proteins. A study on crickets suggests they are twice as efficient in converting feed to meat as chicken."
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