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Parliamentary questions
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19 February 2021
Question for written answer  E-001008/2021
to the Commission
Rule 138
Sarah Wiener (Verts/ALE), Francisco Guerreiro (Verts/ALE), Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE), Martin Häusling (Verts/ALE), Michèle Rivasi (Verts/ALE), Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE), Niklas Nienaß (Verts/ALE), Piernicola Pedicini (Verts/ALE), Margrete Auken (Verts/ALE), Ignazio Corrao (Verts/ALE), Claude Gruffat (Verts/ALE)
 Answer in writing 
 Subject: Lack of mandatory labelling of technical enzymes in food processing

Over 250 technical enzymes are permitted in the EU, most of them produced from genetically-modified organisms. There are, however, no well-founded, independent studies on their effects on health. Craft enterprises are calling for technical enzymes to be subject to the declaration obligation. The employees of such enterprises and EU citizens want to decide themselves whether they will produce or buy natural or high-tech bread, natural or high-tech fruit juice, etc.

1. Since additives with e-numbers became discredited, there has been a marked increase in the use of so-called clean-label products, such as baking agents, which do not have to be declared. Such products generally contain technical enzymes. What action will the Commission take to address this development?

2. Enzymes are used as ‘technical processing aids’ and are not subject to mandatory labelling, as it is assumed that they fulfil no further technical function in the end product. Since technical enzymes have been shown to display residual activity in ready-to-eat baked goods(1), the assumption that these become de-activated during baking can be refuted. Why are enzymes (Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011, the Food Information Regulation) not subject to mandatory labelling requirements?

3. Regulation (EC) No 1332/2008 on food enzymes lays down that a list of enzymes the use of which is permitted throughout the EU should be drawn up(2), yet such a list does not yet exist. When will such a list be put together?

Original language of question: DE
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