Since 2011, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) specification limits the raw material from which glycerol ester of wood rosin (GEWR) is obtained exclusively to ‘aged pine stumps from (Pinus palustris (longleaf) and elliottii (slash) species)’. The limitation to two pine species which occur only in southern USA is not justifiable from scientific, technological or other verifiable reasons. Previous JECFA specifications for GEWR did not include this limitation.
There are over 175 species of pine worldwide; in Greece pine rosin from Pinus halepensis (Aleppo pine) and other species from the eastern Mediterranean have been obtained and processed for centuries. These products are equivalent to those species explicitly stated in the JECFA specification.
It is believed that that the EU user industry pays a higher price for US GEWR due to the lack of competition; an average of USD 3 000 per ton seem to be a realistic figure. These additional costs are likely passed on to consumers, and they would be much higher if there were a supply shortage as referred to above.
Does the Commission intend to support the amendment to the JEFCA specification in order to reduce the market distortions and limited competitiveness in GEWR supply and demand?