The Italian Minister of Agriculture and Food Sovereignty, Francesco Lollobrigida, has signed four decrees aimed at regulating the sale and labeling of food products containing insect flour, according to Sky TG24.
The measures have been notified to the European Union (EU) and are in line with European directives.
Under the new regulations, food products containing four specific types of insect flour, such as cricket flour, Alphitobius diaperinus flour (larvae), Darkness flour molitor (tarme), and migratory locust flour, must carry a label that indicates their origin and the risks associated with their consumption.
Additionally, there will be dedicated shelves in stores for these products, allowing consumers who are interested in trying them.
The aim of these measures is to provide consumers with clear information about the food products they are purchasing and to ensure that they are well-informed about any risks associated with consuming insect flour.
In a press conference, Minister Lollobrigida emphasized the importance of clear labeling for these products, particularly due to the potential risk of allergies that they may pose.
“We must strengthen people’s discernment skills. We have tried to deal with the topic following the European directives, but the topic concerns our consumption model,” he Lollobrigida
The new regulations also include a ban on the use of insect meal in traditional Mediterranean foods, such as pasta and pizza.
The Minister stated that this ban was necessary to protect the integrity of traditional Italian cuisine.
Finally, the Minister expressed his views on the use of synthetic foods, stating that there must be a clear distinction between natural and synthetic foods.
“Another thing is synthetic foods that question the relationship between man and nature,” he said.
The insect flour sector is rapidly growing, with estimates suggesting that it could reach a value of $261 million in Europe this year alone, Sky notes.
The sector has already attracted over 1 billion euros in investment, with further growth predicted.
By 2030, the sector is expected to employ over 30,000 people.
To ensure compliance with the new regulations, the government has pledged to provide maximum supervision, including full control over the labeling and marketing of insect flour products.
The Italian National Anti-Adulteration and Health Protection Unit (Nas) will oversee these efforts to ensure that consumers are fully informed and protected.