Insects like crickets, honey bees may soon be approved for consumption in Singapore

The Singapore Food Agency is seeking public feedback on import conditions of insect products from now till Dec 4.

Liam Willett

Aspiring cat dad.

Published: 17 October 2022, 2:29 PM

Fancy snacking on silkworm pupae or crickets? You might be able to do so soon in Singapore. 

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is considering allowing the import and sale of insects and insect products for human consumption and animal feed. In a press release on Sunday (Oct 16), SFA said that specific species of insects “with a history of human consumption” could be allowed for use as food.

The agency took reference from the European Union and countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Korea and Thailand which have allowed the consumption of certain insect species as food. It also conducted a “thorough scientific review” and assessed that specific species of insects with a history of human consumption can be allowed for use as food. 

According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), edible insects contain high quality protein, vitamins and amino acids for humans. FAO also stated that insects have a high food conversion rate, such as crickets needing six times less feed than cattle.

To safeguard food safety in Singapore, SFA will put into place requirements for importers and farmers of insect food products allowed for human consumption.

These requirements include providing documentary proof that the insects are farmed in regulated establishments with food safety controls, and the substrate used for feeding or rearing insects is not contaminated with pathogens or harmful contaminants. 

Insect species without a history of human consumption are considered novel food and companies would be required to conduct and submit safety assessments for SFA’s review in line with its novel food regulatory framework before the insects can be allowed for sale.

As with other food available in the market, insect products would be subjected to food safety testing and non-compliant products with SFA’s food safety regulations will not be allowed for sale.

As the insect food industry is evolving, SFA will continue reviewing the regulatory approach regularly based on new scientific developments.

The agency is currently seeking feedback from the public and food and animal industry, as well as interested parties on the import conditions and additional pre-licensing requirements.

The public consultation, which started on Oct 5, will end on Dec 4.

You may like these