Insects as food: An overview of U.S. regulatory requirements

Wednesday, November 19, 2014: 3:15 PM
Portland Ballroom 253 (Oregon Convention Center)
Ricardo Carvajal , Hyman, Phelps & McNamara, P.C., Washington, DC
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates insects primarily as contaminants in food.  This historical approach, coupled with a general cultural aversion to entomophagy in the U.S., has contributed to some confusion regarding the regulatory status of insects that are used for food.  This presentation will examine the legal foundation for the regulation of insects as food, including requirements that apply to (1) establishing safety, (2) methods of production, (3) importation, (4) labeling, and (5) advertising.  It will also explore the potential impact of changes in the law that are expected to take place as FDA fully implements the Food Safety Modernization Act.  Although regulatory requirements applicable to the production of food are stringent and becoming more so, those requirements need not serve as road blocks to market success for insect-derived foods.