Effective July 1, processed proteins derived from insects are authorized in feed for farmed fish in the European Union.
The move was welcomed by the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC). In a statement, the group, which represents 24 national associations in 23 EU member states as well as associations in Switzerland, Turkey, Serbia, Russia and Norway, said it supports the authorization of this promising alternative source of proteins for animal feed, in particular for fish farming, which requires diet compositions with highly digestible proteins. In the long term, the inclusion of insect meal could further contribute to the sustainable development of EU aquaculture, FEFAC noted.
Within the current legal framework of the EU, the feeding of insects destined to be used as fish feed must comply with the same requirements as any conventionally farmed animal, meaning that they may not be fed such things as catering waste or livestock manure. FEFAC said it believes that this measure is in line with the present state of scientific knowledge and should facilitate the public and market acceptance of insect proteins used as feed.
FEFAC noted that further research is needed into the safety of potential alternative substrates for insect farming, i.e., materials that are currently not directly usable for feeding fish, poultry or pigs, as the European Food Safety Authority also recommended in its October 2015 opinion on the risk profile related to the production and consumption of insects as food and feed. This may create further added value to proteins derived from farmed insects in the context of boosting circular economies, the group said.