Food: Insects in food concern citizenship

Insects in food concern citizenship

A man has his picture taken with a grasshopper on his tongue before tasting the insect.  Photo: Jair Cabrera/dpa/Archi

A man has his picture taken with a grasshopper on his tongue before tasting the insect. photo

© Jair Cabrera/dpa/archive image

Some get tingling just thinking about insects – especially when they end up on the plate. What has long been on the table elsewhere is still a rarity in this country. The EU allows insects in food. A case for citizenship.

For many it is a disgusting topic: insects in food. Since January it has been on everyone’s lips again, so to speak – since the house crickets and larvae of the grain mold beetle have been allowed to be added to food in the EU in frozen, paste-like, dried or powdered form. The locust and larvae of the flour beetle have been on the EU list of novel foods for some time.

CDU and AfD in the Hamburg Parliament now see a need for action. In separate motions for next Thursday’s session, they call on the red-green Senate to work towards a special labeling requirement in the federal government or to create its own Hamburg label “Insect-free”.

“Insects are attractive to the food industry because of their nutrient profile and from an ecological point of view,” said CDU MP Richard Seelmaecker of the German Press Agency. They also require less space and water than cattle, pigs or chickens and therefore produce fewer greenhouse gases.

However, since insects in food in Europe are still the absolute exception, consumers would not expect them to be an ingredient in products from the food industry. “Many consumers simply do not want to eat insects,” he said. “In order to educate consumers and to present the food content transparently, we call on the red-green Senate to speak out at federal level in favor of labeling the addition of insects to food.”

Labeling must also go beyond simply listing the ingredients and instead be clearly visible on the front of the product, Seelmaecker said.

The AfD does not go far enough. In her application, she refers to a critical assessment by the Baden-Württemberg consumer advice center, which came to the conclusion: “In the case of allergies to shellfish and crustaceans, house dust mites and molluscs, the consumption of edible insects can trigger an allergic reaction.”

Hamburg should “become a pioneer in the fight against insects in food,” demanded the parliamentary director of the AfD parliamentary group, Krzysztof Walczak. The introduction of a Hamburg seal of quality “insect-free” would have a nationwide signal effect. “In addition, we are calling for a clear obligation to provide warnings so that consumers are warned about insects in food.”

CDU motion “Clear labeling of insects in food!” AfD application “Introduction of a Hamburg quality seal “insect-free”” Hamburg consumer center on insects in food


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