Advice on animal and public health risks of insects reared on former foodstuffs as raw material for animal feed
BuRO was asked by the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) to assess the animal and public health risks of insects reared on former foodstuffs as raw material for animal feed. Based on the outcome of this risk assessment, the Minister of LNV will then be able to propose to the European Commission (EC) to make a further adjustment in the legislation that applies to the rearing of insects and the use of insects as raw material for animal feed.
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BuRO advises the Dutch Minister of LNV to propose to the EC to make a further adjustment in the legislation that applies to the use of insects as raw material for animal feed and the substrates for rearing the insects. This can allow that a number of insect species can be used as raw material for animal feed for all non-ruminant farm animals and that adequate germreducing treatments other than those currently prescribed in the ABP Regulation may be used. Moreover, BuRO sees opportunities to allow insects to be reared on former foodstuffs containing meat from non-ruminant farm animals, fish, crustaceans and shellfish under the condition that the proteins in the former foodstuffs are not derived from the same animal species that is fed with the animal feed consisting of insects.
BuRO also gives the Inspector-General of the NVWA three recommendations. First to ensure specifically that the insect-based products used as raw material for animal feed comply with the microbiological safety standards applicable to processed animal proteins and other feed materials derived from animal by-products. Second to ensure the traceability of the animal species in former foodstuffs. Third to monitor developments in the insect sector to maintain a good overview of potential new risks arising from the introduction of multiple types of insects and production methods.
In the coming decades, there is expected to be a sharply increased demand for dietary proteins for humans and animals. As a result, there is an increasing focus on reared insects as a new source of protein. According to the Ministry of LNV, the use of food chain residual flows such as former foodstuffs as a rearing ground (substrate) for insects, which are subsequently used as the raw material for animal feed for food-producing animals, is a sustainable and innovative development that must be further explored. However, this development may entail risks to animal and public health.
The issued advice only assesses the chemical and microbiological animal and public health risks associated with the use of feed for food-producing farm animals produced from insects reared on former foodstuffs. This concerns four insect species.