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October 15, 2019

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France Publishes Order Suspending Sale of Foods Containing Titanium Dioxide

The French Authorities will suspend the marketing of foods containing (titanium dioxide – TiO2, E 171) as of January 2020. Links below, except the last one, are to the French documents.

On April 25, the French government adopted an executive order, implementing the recent Agriculture and Food Law (No. 2018-938). It contains the conclusion from the French Food Safety Agency’s (ANSES) opinion issued on April 15, 2019 showing data gaps and uncertainties regarding the safety of this food additive.

The placing on the French market of foods containing titanium dioxide will be suspended for 1 year, as from January 1st, 2020. Manufacturers will not be able to sell or import foods containing TiO2 on the French market, even when they are legally manufactured in another Member State. The EU market rules (i.e. the mutual recognition principle) should not apply and those products will not be permitted  in France.

The cost of this suspension will be supported by the entity responsible for marketing the food product in France. The Order – in its current wording – would appear to also cover stocks and products placed on the market before 2020.

Titanium remains authorized in other Member States of the EU. But the French “emergency measure” conflicts with the authorization. The issue should be discussed at EU level within the next few weeks. The European Commission should discuss whether the suspension of TiO2 complies with EU Food Legislation and decide eventually whether it should be extended at EU level or not.

© 2019 Keller and Heckman LLP


About this Author

Keller and Heckman offers global food and drug services to its clients. Our comprehensive and extensive food and drug practice is one of the largest in the world. We promote, protect, and defend products made by the spectrum of industries regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the European Commission and Member States authorities in the European Union (EU) and similar authorities throughout the world. The products we help get to market include foods, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, veterinary products, dietary supplements, and cosmetics. In addition...