EU approves insect in protein menu, Qatar bans insect foodtext_fields
Doha: After the European Union added new products to its list of approved foods, specifically protein, Qatar has asserted a religious ban on consuming insects. In a statement issued on Thursday, Qatar's health ministry said insect products do not meet the "requirements of halal food technical regulations."
Qatar said its food's compliance with halal rules was checked by "Islamic bodies accredited by the ministry and through its international-accredited laboratories."
Gulf Cooperation Council regulations "and the religious opinion of the competent authorities" bans "the consumption of insects, or protein and supplements extracted from them. The announcement follows "some countries' decision to approve the use of insects in food production", said the official statement.
According to academics, there are no clear instructions in Islamic law about eating insects. Some say locusts are allowed because they are mentioned in the Koran. Some scholars reject the idea because they consider insects to be unclean.
Even though the statement did not name countries, the EU Commission approved the larvae of the lesser mealworm - a species of beetle last month. A product containing the house cricket was also approved to be used in food. Four insects were approved as "novel food" and they are required to be clearly labelled.
Several communities around the world have been relying on insects as a source of protein. It is also being recommended as an alternative to meat and other foods linked to high levels of greenhouse gases.