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Food Standards Australia New Zealand follows Canadian and UK Authorities in concluding that titanium dioxide in food is safe

In its review of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as a food additive (E171) issued in September 2022, the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the statutory food safety authority under the Australian Government Health Department, confirmed that E171 is safe for human consumption. The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) welcomes the position of FSANZ, which is consistent with the conclusions of Health Canada and the UK Food Standards Authority (FSA).

The FSANZ carried out a critical review of the European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) 2021 opinion on E171, while considering new scientific data relevant to food uses of TiO2 generated after the EFSA opinion. In this way, the FSANZ addressed the uncertainties raised by the EFSA concluding that:

  • there is no evidence that food-grade TiO2 via oral exposure is genotoxic neither in vivo nor in vitro studies;
  • no evidence of toxicity or carcinogenicity was observed at high levels of TiO2dietary concentrations in rats and mice;
  • no evidence of systemic toxicity, developmental or reproductive toxicity, developmental neurotoxicity, or developmental immunotoxicity was found in rats exposed via the diet to high levels of food-grade TiO2.

The review of the FSANZ is in line with the recent conclusions of Health Canada and the UK Food Standards Authority (FSA) which confirm the safety of TiO2 for human consumption. Considering the growing scientific consensus over the safety of TiO2 in food, the TDMA calls on the European Commission to trigger a critical re-examination of the EFSA 2021 opinion. The conclusions of international scientific authorities should also be considered in the EU assessment of TiO2’s safety in pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and toy applications.

The TDMA will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that ongoing and future reviews of the safety of TiO2 are conducted using all available data and best practices.

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