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Parliamentary question - E-003009/2019Parliamentary question

Ban on the use of titanium dioxide (E 171) in food

Question for written answer E-003009-19
to the Commission
Rule 138
Eric Andrieu (S&D)

On 17 April 2019, the French Government signed a decree halting sales of food containing the additive E 171 (titanium dioxide). The decree will enter into force on 1 January 2020. The French Government’s decision follows the publication of an opinion by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) which emphasised that there was still not enough data available to carry out a proper assessment of the risks associated with the use of E 171. Uncertainties remain as to whether titanium dioxide is safe for consumers, and these have also been highlighted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). The French Government has thus decided to suspend the use of this substance, in keeping with the precautionary principle.

Can the Commission say whether the Member States will take a decision on the extension, modification or repeal of the French measure as provided for in Article 54 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 before the end of 2019?

Titanium dioxide has a purely aesthetic function in foods and offers no benefits to the consumer. Since doubts persist about the safety of E 171, does the Commission not think that the French measure should be applied at European level in order to protect all consumers?

Last updated: 8 October 2019
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