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On 1 January, 2018, a new regulation on “Novel Food”, replacing the current rules adopted in 1997, will come into application in the EU. This new regulation will pave the way for a simpler, clearer and more efficient authorisation procedure, fully centralised at EU level, which should enable safe and innovative food to be placed on the EU market faster, without compromising a high level of public health.
In this context, the Delegation of the European Union to Thailand, in cooperation with the National Bureau of Agricultural Commodities and Food Standards (ACFS) of the Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, the Thai Food and Drug Administration (Thai FDA) of the Ministry of Public Health and the University of Khon Kaen, is organising a Seminar on 26 October in Bangkok. This event aims at establishing a common understanding of the relevant legislations applicable to novel food, both in the EU and in Thailand. European and Thai experts will discuss various aspects of the risk assessment and risk management of novel food and in particular the conditions under which novel food will be allowed be imported and commercialised safely in the EU market. An interactive discussion with the experts on the topic “Insect as Food” will follow. Around 150 participants from the private sector and public organisations are expected to join. All presentations during the conference will be in English, with simultaneous Thai translation and the workshop will be in Thai.
Mr Patrick Deboyser, Minister Counsellor, Directorate General on Health and Food Safety, European Union mentioned that "The new EU Novel Food Regulation will provide a more effective regulatory environment that will allow businesses to bring innovative food to market, whilst ensuring the highest possible level of food safety for consumers. Special provisions are made for food which has never been marketed in the EU, but which has a proven history of safe use in non-EU countries, such as Thailand. This creates a fairer system for traditional foods from non-EU countries and a favourable environment for trade."
Dr. Tipvon Parinyasiri, Director of Food, Control Division, Thai FDA, said that “The new regulation as “Notification of Ministry of Public Health (No. 376) Regarding Novel food” is developed and come into force as of 16th July 2016. The concept of this notification is similar with EU Regulation regarding the Novel food that such novel food as defined in the notification shall be approved for use in Thailand if it does not present a risk to public health, is not nutritionally disadvantageous and not misleading to the consumer. This novel food must undergo a scientific assessment prior to authorization to ensure their safety. Thus, the authorization sets out the condition of their use, their designation as a food or food ingredient, and labeling requirement for consumers’ information.
Mr Pisan Pongsapitch, Deputy Secretary General of ACFS officially opened the seminar: "This public conference has a specific focus on the issue of insects, which is now a global theme, discussed widely as the next vital alternative food source for the future. ACFS together with relevant agencies are currently working hard to promote the production and marketing of insect products, as we strongly believe that they can help enhance food security, environmental sustainability and livelihood of farmers. Today you will hear the work on Good Agricultural Practice for cricket farm and guideline for cricket production, currently undertaken by ACFS to support the supply for domestic market as well as market access into the EU."
On 27 October, a workshop entitled "The EU Novel Food Regulation and the Special Case of Insects" will take place in Khon Kaen. This will be a unique opportunity for participants to share their expertise in entomoculture and cricket farming, and to define actions to fulfil the Novel Food application requirements.
Presentations from the seminar on 26 October 2017 can be downloaded below.