On 29 December 2021, the two-month scrutiny period concerning the European Commission’s proposal to ban titanium dioxide (TiO2) as the additive E171 in food elapsed with no objections being raised by either the European Parliament or the Council of the EU. The Commission’s proposal was published in the EU official journal in January 2022 and entered into force on 7 February 2022.
The act includes a six-month transition period from its entry into force in which food products containing E171 may still be placed on the EU market and marketed until their ‘use by’ date. Products containing E171 can continue to be used safely during the transition period as no immediate risk has been identified.
The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) does not agree with the Commission’s proposal and continues to stand behind the safety of TiO2 in all intended applications. The TDMA is engaging with all relevant stakeholders and will invest in new science to generate further data to confirm the safety of E171.
Background on the European Commission’s proposal to ban E171 in food
The European Commission’s proposal follows the EFSA opinion published 6 May 2021. The EFSA opinion itself concluded that there was no general toxicity, no organ toxicity, and no effects on reproductive and developmental toxicity. The EFSA assessment did not conclude that E171 is genotoxic but identified uncertainties with a need to further investigate the effects of the substance.
The TDMA is addressing the uncertainties raised by the EFSA’s opinion by updating its science programme to generate further data to confirm the safety of E171. It made available its preliminary observations regarding the EFSA opinion on 17 September 2021.
The TDMA will continue to engage with all relevant stakeholders to ensure that a full and transparent review is conducted using all available data and best practices.
This article was updated following the entry into force of the ban.