EFSA published today a statement on the review of the risks related to the exposure to the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171) performed by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) (available HERE – and copy attached)

Following its assessment, EFSA concluded that:

  • The latest ANSES opinion published in April 2019 does not identify any major new findings that would overrule the conclusions made in the previous two scientific opinions on the safety of titanium dioxide (E 171) as a food additive issued by the EFSA ANS Panel in 2016 and 2018.
  • The latest ANSES opinion reiterates the previously identified uncertainties and data gaps, which are currently being addressed in the context of the follow up activities originating from the previous EFSA evaluations and their recommendations
  • In addition to the aspects for which the follow up work is currently ongoing, ANSES recommends further investigation of in vivo genotoxicity. EFSA considers this recommendation should be revisited once the ongoing work on the physico-chemical characterisation of the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171) is completed

Considering the above conclusions, it will be interesting to see the outcomes of the discussing held today during the Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed Section Novel Food and Toxicological Safety of the Food Chain today. Indeed, the European Commission and the Member States were discussing today if the conditions of emergencies were met and thus if the French protective measures adopted last month [Order of 17 April 2019 which suspends the placing on the market of foodstuffs containing additive E171 (titanium dioxide – TiO2)] must be extended, amended or abrogated in accordance with Article 54 of the General Food Law Regulation (EC) n°178/2202.