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Parliamentary questions
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15 April 2021
E-001008/2021(ASW)
Answer given by Ms Kyriakides
on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001008/2021

To ensure a high level of protection of health and consumer interests, all food enzymes are subject to a safety evaluation by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and approval by the Commission, prior to their inclusion in a Union list.

The Union list will be established once EFSA has issued an opinion on each enzyme included in the Register(1). The EFSA assessments will not be completed before the end of 2023. Until the Union list is established, national provisions of the Member States on the use of enzymes apply.

The EU legislation(2) requires that food enzymes are included in the list of ingredients. Omission is possible only for enzymes (i) whose presence in a given food is solely due to the fact that they were contained in one or more ingredients of that food provided they serve no technological function in the finished product or (ii) which are used as processing aids.

Such omission is only possible if these enzymes are not included in Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 listing substances or products causing allergies or intolerances.

The Commission considers the current provisions satisfactory as they ensure labelling of any enzyme having a technological function in the final product, e.g. if it is thermo-stable, and, in any case, if it causes allergies or intolerances. This labelling is the responsibility of the food producer.

The use of enzymes, including those used as processing aids, shall not mislead the consumer. This will be verified, on a case-by-case basis, prior to their inclusion in the EU list. Moreover, the legislation(3) envisages, where necessary, the establishment of specific requirements in the EU list to inform the consumer of the physical condition of the food or the specific treatment it has undergone.

(1)https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food/files/safety/docs/fs_food-improvement-agents_enzymes_register.pdf
(2)Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011on the provision of food information to consumers, amending Regulations (EC) No 1924/2006 and (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Commission Directive 87/250/EEC, Council Directive 90/496/EEC, Commission Directive 1999/10/EC, Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, Commission Directives 2002/67/EC and 2008/5/EC and Commission Regulation (EC) No 608/2004 (OJ L 304, 22.11.2011, p. 18).
(3)Article 7(2)(f) of Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008.
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