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Parliamentary questions
25 July 2018
E-003265/2018
Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission

The use of food additives is fully harmonised at EU level(1). Only food additives included in the Union list in Annex II of Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 may be placed on the market as such and used in foods under the conditions of use specified therein.

General conditions for inclusion and use of food additives in the Union list specify the conditions to be met to obtain the authorisation. In particular, food additives may only be authorised if their use does not pose a safety concern to the health of the consumer at the level of use proposed on the basis of the available scientific evidence.

Article 9(1)(b) of Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers(2) requires the indication of all ingredients used in the manufacture or preparation of a food on the label of prepacked foods.

According to Article 2(2)(f) of the regulation, ingredients are defined as ‘any substance or product, including flavourings, food additives and food enzymes, and any constituent of a compound ingredient, used in the manufacture or preparation of a food and still present in the finished product, even if in an altered form; residues shall not be considered as “ingredients”’.

Therefore, any substance, including additives, intentionally added and still present in the final product must be labelled in the list of ingredients and the applicable rules assure safe use of food additives.

The Commission considers that the existing provisions are sufficient to inform the consumers of the presence of food additives in processed foods and has not identified at this stage any reasons justifying the modification of the current approach.

(1)Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food additives, OJ L 354, 31.12.2008, p. 16.
(2)OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 18.

Last updated: 10 August 2018Legal notice