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Europe’s pigs and chickens can now be fed bugs, EU says

Published: Updated:

European farmers can now feed bugs to their chickens and pigs in a major boost to the nascent insects industry that’s emerging as a more sustainable source of protein.

The European Union’s authorization of insect protein in poultry and pig feed comes into effect this week, adding to several measures that have broadened the presence of insects on the European market.

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The fish industry already relies on insect feed, while the 27-nation bloc permits mealworms to be sold for human consumption.

The EU’s food safety watchdog has so far ruled that insects such as mealworms, crickets and locusts are safe for eat.

Feeding bugs to livestock rather than humans has so far shown the greatest commercial potential, with agricultural giants such as Cargill and Archer-Daniels-Midland tapping the market.

The market for insect feed has a potential to reach 500,000 tons by 2030, Rabobank estimates.