SINGAPORE: The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) may soon allow the import and sale of insects and insect products for human consumption and animal feed.
In a statement on Sunday (Oct 16), the SFA said that after a "thorough scientific review", it could allow "specific species of insects with a history of human consumption" to be served as food.
Sixteen insect species have been reviewed for human consumption, including some types of crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, mealworms, moths, silkworms and honey bees.
The commercial farming of insects for human consumption and animal feed has been promoted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation in recent years, the SFA said.
In Singapore, more than 10 companies have expressed interest in importing insect food products or insect farming, it added.
Companies intending to import or farm insects for human consumption or animal feed have to meet certain requirements for food safety, SFA said.
These include providing documentary proof that the imported insects were farmed in "regulated establishments with food safety controls" and that no pathogens or harmful contaminants were used in the rearing or feeding of the insects.
Those who want to import or farm insects without a history of human consumption must conduct and submit safety assessments to SFA before the product is allowed for sale.
SFA said insect products will be subjected to food and safety testing, as with all other food available in Singapore. "Food that is found to be non-compliant with our food and safety regulations will not be allowed for sale," SFA said.
The agency is seeking feedback from the public as well as from the food and animal feed industry on the import conditions and additional pre-licensing requirements for insects and insect products.
The public consultation will end on Dec 4.