On 14 January 2022, the European Commission adopted the act withdrawing the authorisation of titanium dioxide (TiO2) as the additive E171 in food in the EU. The act was published in the EU Official Journal on 18 January 2022 and entered into force on 7 February 2022.
In accordance with the act’s six-month transition period, food products containing E171 were allowed to be placed on the EU market until 7 August 2022 and marketed until their ‘use by’ date. Products containing E171 could continue to be used safely during the transition period as no immediate risk was identified.
The Titanium Dioxide Manufacturers Association (TDMA) reiterates its disagreement with the measure and continues to stand behind the safety of TiO2 in all intended applications. The TDMA is engaging with all relevant stakeholders and is investing in new science to generate data to confirm the safety of E171.
Background on the European Commission’s ban on E171 in food
The European Commission’s ban 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.