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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Insect food. Solidarna Polska wants an “anti-worm law”, Janusz Kowalski said about it. What has the European Commission authorized?

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Representatives of Solidarna Polska call for the preparation of an “anti-worm law”, which – as they argued – will introduce the obligation to label food products containing insect additives. In the whole discussion on “eating worms”, which has recently flared up in the public space, there is a lot of falsehood and ignorance. We have already explained, among other things, that semi-finished products made of insects have been used in the food industry in Poland for a long time.

Politicians from Solidarna Polska announced the idea of ​​the bill during a press conference on Thursday.

– We agree with the motto my plate and my business. We don’t look at anyone’s plate. Poles have the right to clearly and legibly label each food product containing so-called worm additives. Therefore as Solidarity Poland we initiate the preparation of legal regulations with a model Hungarian and model Italianwhich will clearly give Polish consumers knowledge about food products containing so-called worm additives. This is an anti-worm law – said Deputy Minister of Agriculture Janusz Kowalski.

According to Kowalski, any product containing – as he put it – “worm additives” should be clearly labeled. He added that it was about the inscription: “Caution, the food product contains protein from insects.”

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– We, as conservatives, as Poles, definitely prefer and prefer normal Polish food, Polish meat, Polish dairy products, Polish milk. We believe that, following the example of Italy and Hungary, it is necessary to introduce clear legal provisions on food safety and labeling of food products. This can be done both by regulation and by law, he said.

Kowalski also announced that he would talk about this proposal with the new Minister of Agriculture, Robert Telus. – The right of every Pole to choose what he wants to eat must be maintained, but full information on the composition of food products must also be guaranteed. Our anti-worm act supports Polish food, supports freedom of choice – he stressed.

– We want the Polish consumer, who is a highly conscious consumer, to be able to make a choice – whether he wants to eat food with shiny mold larvae or maybe he wants to choose healthy, Polish, traditional food – said Deputy Minister of Justice Piotr Cieplucha.

What’s with this “eating worms”?

The topic of “eating worms” heated up Internet users after cricket powder was allowed on the EU food market this year – but over time new threads appeared in the discussion.

One of the most common misconceptions was that people would now eat insects and not even know it.

The case was described in detail by Konkret24. In January he denied fake news that, with the consent of the European Union, there will be no information on adding cricket powder to the composition of food products.

READ MORE ON CONKRET24: We’re going to eat insects now without knowing it? No, the composition of the product is to be known

With time, the discussion, led mainly by Internet users in social media, was also joined by politicians, especially those who try to make political capital on this topic. There’s also a lot of falsehood here. A narrative began to spread in the public opinion European Union she wanted to “make us eat worms”.

Konkret24 explained that Semi-finished products made from insects have been used in the food industry in Poland for a long time.

READ MORE ON CONKRET24: The EU wants to ‘make us eat worms’ or ‘we are already eating them’? And what is cochineal?

What has the European Commission authorized?

Consuming insects is a response to the need to provide food for the growing population – according to UN forecasts, in 2050 the Earth will be inhabited by almost 10 billion people. It’s also about rising production costs – breeding edible insects is simply cheaper.

It allows any new food in the EU European Commission with prior approval of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). On January 3, 2023, the European Commission issued a regulation authorizing the placing on the market of partially defatted Acheta domesticus (house cricket) powder as a novel food and amending Implementing Regulation (EU) 2017/2470.

Novel foods are products that were not used to a significant extent for consumption by the inhabitants of the European Union before 1997. Earlier, the green light was given by EFSA. After the tests, he ruled that the consumption of defatted house cricket powder is safe for humans, although there are concerns that it may sensitize people with allergies to shellfish and molluscs.

Marking requirement on products

The EC Regulation requires that partially defatted house cricket powder be listed on the packaging, if the product contains it. It is also to contain information on possible allergic reactions in consumers with confirmed allergies to crustaceans, molluscs and products derived from them, and to house dust mites.

This is not the first time the European Union has agreed to put insects on European tables. EU officials had previously approved the launch mealworm larvae and migratory locust. All these insects can be eaten frozen, dried or powdered. Permission was granted in January 2023 glossy thrush larvae (in frozen, paste, dried and powdered form).

Main photo source: TVN24

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