Answer given by Mr Andriukaitis on behalf of the European Commission
It is a priority of the Commission to ensure that permitted food additives are safe. The Commission closely follows the conclusions and recommendations of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the safety re-evaluation of titanium dioxide (E 171).
The Commission also tasked EFSA to assess the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety opinion. EFSA clarified that the opinion reiterates the previously identified uncertainties and data gaps, which are currently being addressed in the context of the follow-up activities originating from the previous EFSA evaluations and their recommendations.
Similarly, the most recent EFSA opinion confirms its previous assessments that the use of titanium dioxide as a food additive is safe based on the current scientific knowledge. It highlights that the conclusions and uncertainties raised in the previous EFSA assessments remain valid and that the ongoing toxicity testing, which should be completed by July 2020, would further decrease outstanding uncertainty.
The Commission exchanged views with the Member States on the French measure at the meetings of the Standing Committee on 13 May 2019 and 26 September 2019. Member States expressed their opinions on the extension of the French measure to the whole EU and on other, alternative risk management measures. Based on the feedback received the Commission will reflect on the next steps.
-  Re-evaluation of titanium dioxide (E 171) as a food additive; EFSA Journal 2016;14(9):4545; https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4545 and Evaluation of four new studies on the potential toxicity of titanium dioxide used as a food additive (E 171); EFSA Journal 2018;16(7):5366; https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2018.5366
-  Opinion of the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) on the risks associated with ingestion of the food additive E171 available at https://www.anses.fr/en/content/anses-opinion-risks-associated-ingestion-food-additive-e171
-  EFSA statement on the review of the risks related to the exposure to the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171) performed by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES); EFSA Journal 2019;17(6):5714; https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5714
-  https://ec.europa.eu/food/safety/food_improvement_agents/additives/re-evaluation_en
-  Scientiﬁc opinion on the proposed amendment of the EU speciﬁcations for titanium dioxide (E 171) with respect to the inclusion of additional parameters related to its particle size distribution; EFSA Journal 2019;17(7):5760; https://efsa.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.2903/j.efsa.2019.5760
-  Summary report of the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed held in Brussels on 13 May 2019; https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/safety/docs/reg-com_toxic_20190513_sum.pdf