Briefing 
 

MEPs set to object to legislation on food products that are harmful to children 

Objections to market authorisation for food products that might adversely affect European consumers’ health, especially children, will be put to the vote on Wednesday.

The first is an objection to the Commission’s proposed amendment to the legislation laying down specifications for food additives as regards titanium dioxide (E 171).


Titanium dioxide is a food additive mainly used to colour confectionery, bakery and pastry products. In the draft resolution, MEPs refer to the precautionary principle and state the need to remove titanium dioxide (E171) from the EU list of permitted food additives. They are particularly concerned about children being potentially very exposed to the additive. They underline that France banned sales of food products containing titanium dioxide as of 1 January 2020 and that 85 000 citizens across Europe have signed a petition to support the French ban.


The second one concerns the Commission’s proposal to amend the maximum levels of acrylamide in certain foodstuffs for infants and young children. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) previously confirmed that acrylamide, which is a processing contaminant that occurs naturally in food, potentially increases the risk of developing cancer in all age groups.

In the draft motion for a resolution, MEPs request that the Commission lowers the maximum level allowed for products often given to infants and young children, as they are the most exposed, based on their body weight. They also underline that biscuits and rusks that do not fall under the specific category of “Biscuits and rusks for infants and young children”, but are often given to or even marketed to children, should face the same, more stringent demands.


If Parliament approves these two objections, the Commission cannot approve the proposed actions and is then obliged to amend or withdraw them.

Vote: Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Procedure: Regulatory procedure with scrutiny (RPS)