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FDA advises those with seafood allergies not to eat cicadas

FDA advises those with seafood allergies not to eat cicadas
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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is warning people with seafood allergies not to eat cicadas.

The agency acknowledged that the guidance may seem unusual, though it comes as some have tried to take advantage of the swarm of cicadas this year by cooking and eating the insects. The bugs can be prepared and eaten like other foods and protein sources.

“Yep! We have to say it!” the FDA tweeted Wednesday, cautioning people not to eat cicadas if they have seafood allergies because "these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters.”

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Social media users were quick to jab the FDA’s guidance — and come up with solutions of their own. 

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Trillions of Brood X cicadas are emerging from below ground and swarming in Washington, D.C., and 15 states across the Eastern U.S. These noisy insects spend the first 17 years of their life underground before emerging to breed and lay eggs, although there are different generations and cycles of the bugs.

The FDA similarly warned pet owners last month that, although cicadas do not sting or bite, their exoskeleton can irritate the stomach lining if eaten and pose a choking hazard for smaller dogs.