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Parliamentary questions
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17 December 2019
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 138
Eric Andrieu
 Subject: Contamination of food with mineral oils which are hazardous to health

Laboratory tests have recently revealed the presence of mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAHs), which are hazardous to human health, in infant formula sold in France, Germany and the Netherlands. MOAHs are toxic substances recognised as being potentially carcinogenic and mutagenic by multiple experts, including those from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, scientific opinion published in 2012) and the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES, 2017 opinion).

Furthermore, in January 2017, the Commission published Recommendation (EU) 2017/84 on the monitoring of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food and in materials and articles intended to come into contact with food. In its report of 15 November 2019, the EFSA confirmed that exposure of children and infants raises health concerns.

Article 14 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 lays down the requirement to ensure food safety and thus consumer health.

Does the Commission agree that this substance should be banned?

Applying the precautionary principle, particularly in a matter involving the health of children, when does it intend to prohibit its use in foods sold in the European Union?

Last updated: 14 January 2020Legal notice