Russian information attack in the context of EU food security

Pro- Russian propagandists in the EU have a new narrative claiming that Brussels has a secret plan to force people to eat insects.

According to labeling requirements in publicly available European Commission authorization documents, the newly approved ingredients must be listed by both their scientific and common names beginning in January 2023.

Referring to the documents, labels on foods containing insect products must include a warning that they may cause an allergic reaction.

The documents also state that the ingredients were found to be safe for human consumption after a scientific analysis by the European Food Safety Authority.

Since 2021, the EU has permitted the sale of products derived from the house cricket, the migratory locust, yellow mealworm larvae, and lesser mealworm larvae, all of which must meet the same labeling and health requirements.

Pro – Russian porpaganda

Nonetheless, in Bulgaria, where anti-EU rhetoric from some political parties is escalating ahead of the country’s improbable plan to join the eurozone in 2024, the move was portrayed as life-threatening.

Rumen Petkov, former interior minister and leader of the pro-Russian ABV party, called the EU approvals for food ingredients derived from house crickets and beetle larvae a “crime against Europe” and a “willingness to kill our European children” in a pro-Russian outlet.

Rumen Petkov, the former interior minister and leader of the pro-Russian ABV party, called the permits a “crime against Europe” in an interview with pro-Kremlin media outlet Pogled.

He accused the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, of being “prepared to kill our European children,” implying that they would unwittingly consume insect products in their favorite snacks.

Although EU approvals do not require the inclusion of insect ingredients in any food product, some politicians framed the permissions as an imposition from which their countries must be protected by the national government.

In Hungary, where tensions with Brussels have been high over frozen funds, agriculture minister Istvan Nagy warned that “traditional eating habits may be in danger” and promised the government would bring in new regulations to ensure what he said was clear labeling.

Manipulating facts

The creators of the narrative manipulate the facts when they try to prove that all crops in EU countries have been lost, and therefore the European Union leadership has obliged EU residents to use insects as food. The next manipulation: since Europe has refused to buy Russian gas, Europeans will now have to eat insects. Both the first and the second are manipulation of facts and an attempt to spread pro-Russian propaganda.

We would also like to note that the European Union decided to refuse to supply Russian energy resources – gas and oil – and imposed sanctions against the Russian Federation for a very simple reason. The imposition of sanctions against Russia is a restrictive economic measure imposed by the global community in response to Russia’s unleashing of a criminal war against Ukraine.

Moreover, the European Union has managed to substitute Russian gas supplies and significantly reduce its consumption. A study conducted last October by the German Ifo institute showed that 3 out of every 4 manufacturing companies in Germany said they had managed to reduce their consumption of fossil gas in the last 6 months without cutting production.

The picture is similar to the rest of Europe. Forecasts from the European Commission indicate that the EU economy is on the brink of a recession, but there are no signs of an industrial collapse in the EU.

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