Parliamentary questions
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3 June 2016
Question for oral answer O-000085/2016
to the Commission
Rule 128
Nicola Caputo, Pavel Poc, Biljana Borzan, Gilles Pargneaux, Frédérique Ries, Bronis Ropė, Eric Andrieu, Enrico Gasbarra, Romana Tomc, Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu, Nikolay Barekov, Marc Tarabella, Daniel Buda, Lynn Boylan, Stefan Eck, Angel Dzhambazki, Patricija Šulin, Christel Schaldemose, Rolandas Paksas, Ivo Vajgl, Olga Sehnalová, Jo Leinen, Momchil Nekov, Norbert Erdős, Michela Giuffrida, Brando Benifei, György Hölvényi, Zigmantas Balčytis, Karin Kadenbach, Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Pavel Telička, Yana Toom, Benedek Jávor, Kateřina Konečná, Michèle Rivasi, Isabella De Monte, Clara Eugenia Aguilera García, Sofia Sakorafa, Ivan Jakovčić, Merja Kyllönen, Aldo Patriciello, Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, Milan Zver, Anna Záborská, Anja Hazekamp, Tibor Szanyi, Miltiadis Kyrkos, Marlene Mizzi, Hugues Bayet, Claude Rolin, Viorica Dăncilă, Jasenko Selimovic, Filiz Hyusmenova, Miroslav Poche, Carolina Punset, István Ujhelyi, Marco Zullo, Renate Sommer, Mairead McGuinness, Rosa D'Amato, Monika Smolková, Alojz Peterle, Andrea Cozzolino, Stelios Kouloglou

 Subject: Health risks related to the consumption of vegetable oils, and in particular palm oils

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently concluded that there is sufficient evidence that glycidyl fatty acid esters – contaminants formed during the processing of refined vegetable oils – are genotoxic and carcinogenic.

The highest levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters were found in palm oils and palm fats.

According to EFSA, babies are exposed to up to ten times the acceptable levels through infant formula.

Although levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters in palm oils and fats have halved in the past 6 years, palm oil remains the biggest contributor for most individuals. Present in snacks, biscuits, bread sticks, crackers and dozens of other foods and children’s foods, palm oil is a potential health concern, especially for children and young people, as well as for all those people who consume foods that are rich in palm fatty acids.

In light of the above, can the Commission state:

– how it intends to manage the potential risks for consumers from exposure to these substances in food; and

– whether it intends to adopt regulatory measures to limit the presence of risky compounds in palm oils in order to protect human health?

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