Food Law News - UK - 2009

FSA News Item, 2 July 2009

NOVEL FOODS - Views wanted on honeybee venom

A New Zealand company has applied to the Food Standards Agency for approval to market the venom from the honeybee as a novel food ingredient. A novel food is a food or food ingredient that does not have a significant history of consumption within the European Union before 15 May 1997.

The venom is extracted from the honeybee (Apis mellifera) by using a milking apparatus procedure. The venom is then dried and added to honey. The company, Nelson Honey and Marketing (New Zealand) Ltd, states that the venom may help to alleviate symptoms of arthritis.

Honey containing venom has been on the New Zealand market since 1996, but it is considered novel in the European Union.

Before any new food product can be introduced on the European market it must be rigorously assessed for safety. In the UK, the assessment of novel foods is carried out by an independent committee of scientists appointed by the Food Standards Agency, the Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes (ACNFP).

Deadline for comments

Any comments on this application should be emailed to the ACNFP Secretariat at by Thursday 23 July 2009. The comments will be passed to the Committee when it begins its assessment of this novel food ingredient.

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