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Food safety: Food additive Titanium Dioxide banned as of this summer

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The European Commission has adopted a ban on the use of Titanium Dioxide as a food additive (E171). The ban will apply after a six-month transitory period. This means that, as from this summer, this additive should no longer be added to food products.

Health and Food Safety Commissioner Stella Kyriakides (pictured) said: “The safety of the food our citizens eat and their health are non-negotiable. This is why we ensure strict and continuous scrutiny of the highest safety standards for consumers. A cornerstone of this work is to make sure that only safe substances, backed by sound scientific evidence, reach our plates. As we move towards the warmer weather, many people opt for eating outdoors such as for barbecues and under gazebo with sides. With today's ban, we are removing a food additive that is no longer considered as safe. I count on member states authorities for their co-operation in ensuring that food operators end the use of E171 in foods.” Titanium Dioxide is used to impart white colour to many foods, from baked goods and sandwich spreads to soups, sauces, salad dressing and food supplements. Member states unanimously endorsed the Commission's proposal, put forward last autumn. It was based on a scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority which concluded that E171 could no longer be considered as safe when used as a food additive. More information is available in this Q&A.

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