Clearer Legislation Needed For Insect-Based Food - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Clearer Legislation Needed For Insect-Based Food

Published January 20, 2016

Photos by
Gerður Erla Tómasdóttir

Unclear application of EU regulations on the use of insects in food led to the Jungle Bar getting pulled off the shelves, and the creators of the product and related parties stress the need for clarification.

As reported, the cricket-based Jungle Bar was removed from stores scarcely a week after appearing on the domestic market. The reason for the recall was that EU regulations regarding the use of insects in food require passing a European Commission risk assessment test before they can be sold.

However, RÚV reports that these regulations were not introduced to Iceland until October of last year, and their application remains vague.

Gylfi Ólafsson, who raises soldier flies in Iceland, told reporters that a clear answer is needed on how these regulations are applied. As such, anyone raising or using insects in food production “have their hands tied by regulations” whose applications are uncertain.

Búi Bjarmar Aðalsteinsson, one of the producers of Jungle Bar, told reporters that they have submitted all necessary documentation to the Directorate of Health and the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority to confirm that their products are completely safe for human consumption. While different countries interpret the pertinent EU regulations in different ways, he remains confident that the Jungle Bar will be back in stores very soon.


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