Answer given by Mr Kyprianou on behalf of the Commission
Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods(1) foresees that Member States shall inform the Commission on existing national provisions on the mandatory addition of vitamins and minerals to foods by 19 July 2007. This information will then be included on the Community register on the addition of vitamins and minerals to foods, which is publicly accessible via the webpage of the Directorate-General for Health and Consumer Protection(2).
The establishment of general upper threshold limits for iodine in foods is not considered feasible due to the natural variation of the content of this mineral in the different foodstuffs. However, the abovementioned regulation foresees the establishment of a maximum amount for iodine, through the Regulatory Committee procedure, if this is added on a voluntary basis to foods. Moreover, this regulation also foresees the possibility to restrict the addition of certain nutrients to specific categories of foods (for example, the possibility to allow the addition of iodine only to salt, as indicated in Recital 15 of the regulation). The Commission has started work on this issue.
It should be noted that the addition of iodine to natural mineral water is not allowed by Council Directive 80/777/EEC of 15 July 1980 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the exploitation and marketing of natural mineral waters(3). Instead, the directive requires that the label on mineral waters shall bear a mandatory statement on their analytical composition, giving its characteristic constituents.
Concerning feed, Commission Regulation (EC) No 1459/2005 of 8 September 2005 amending the conditions for authorisation of a number of feed additives belonging to the group of trace elements(4) has revised the maximum contents of iodine in feed following an opinion of the European Food Safety Authority on the use of iodine in feedstuffs(5).
Iodine that is used in the manufacture or preparation of a foodstuff must appear in the list of ingredients in accordance with Directive 2000/13/EC of Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs(6). On the other hand, iodine naturally present in foods resulting from the diet of animals is not considered as an ingredient and consequently the labelling requirements established in Directive 2000/13/EC do not apply.