The UK Edible Insect Association is very pleased to announce that our Novel Food dossier
for Acheta Domesticus (house crickets) has been deemed ‘within scope of novel foods
regime and valid’*. We submitted this to the Food Standards Agency (FSA) on 10 December 2021 and our Novel Foods representative, Dr Geoffrey Knott received the notification on 12 May 2023 after answering two additional requests for further information from the FSA in January and March 2023.
Our UK application is based on the similar dossier submitted by the Belgian Insect Industry
Once the FSA and Ministers approve this, it will massively open up the market for products
containing Acheta Domesticus as the dossier will be publicly available, and will enable others
to enter the market in the coming years. This is a vital step towards British consumers being able to benefit from this highly versatile and sustainable alternative source of protein.
We expect the final approval could take a further 12 months to achieve but the Statutory
Instrument laid by the Government in Parliament last year means that a Transitional Arrangement covering edible insects is in place so that companies can continue to trade in
edible insects while approval is secured.
Dr Geoff Knott said: “It’s great to have finally made progress towards authorisation after 18 months and £1,000s worth of work. This is positive step forward for our emerging insect industry which desperately needs both regulatory certainty and support from the UK Government and its departments. I believe we [the UK insect industry] and the FSA are in the same boat – we inherited the EU’s Novel Foods regulation and are both trying to forge the best path towards bringing our innovative products to market to create a more sustainable and resilient food system. After this validity check, I believe we have a much clearer understanding into the authorisation process – e.g. the costs and timelines – which may provide us with enough confidence to apply for approval for more insect species and insect-based products. A clearer, simpler and more lightweight authorisation for novel foods is still on my Christmas 2024 wish list.“
Aaron Thomas, Chair of the UKEIA Board said:
“We’re glad to hear that our applications have passed initial inspections and hope that they
can pass through assessment quickly and without further hold-up. Since our early
discussions with the FSA about these issues back in 2021, we’ve come an extremely long
way. We couldn’t have done it without the continued support of our hard working members
and board, who have gone above and beyond to push this through.”
To clarify: this notification does not mean Acheta is now authorised, only that our
application has now passed the first validity stage. We believe our application will now progress onto assessment.
Applications can be tracked in the FSA’s Register of regulated product applications (excel).
Image used with thanks to Bugvita.