The European Commission announced on Friday 8 October that the EU Members States provided a positive opinion in the Standing Committee on Plants, Food and Feed (SCOPAFF) on the proposal to ban titanium dioxide (TiO2) as the food additive E171 from all applications in food products.
The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) does not agree with the decision and continues to stand behind the safety of TiO2 in all intended applications.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) found no conclusive evidence showing harmful effects from the intake of E171. The TDMA is engaging with all relevant stakeholders and will invest in new science to address the uncertainties raised by the EFSA.
Background on the EFSA opinion on E171
The European Commission’s proposal follows the EFSA opinion published 6 May 2021. The EFSA opinion itself concluded that there was no general toxicity, no organ toxicity, and no effects on reproductive and developmental toxicity. The EFSA assessment did not conclude that E171 is genotoxic but identified uncertainties with a need to further investigate the effects of the substance.
The TDMA is engaging with all relevant stakeholders and will invest in new science to address the uncertainties raised by the EFSA. It made available its preliminary observations regarding the EFSA opinion on 17 September 2021.
The TDMA will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that a full and transparent review is conducted using all available data and best practices.
Next steps at EU level
As a result of the SCOPAFF positive opinion, the European Commission will now send the envisaged measure to the European Parliament and the Council of the EU for scrutiny for a period of two months. Should there be no objection, the amendment to the food additives regulation will enter into force in January 2022. The act proposes a 6-months transition period in which food products containing E171 may still be placed on the EU market and marketed until their ‘use by’ date.