Titanium Dioxide: An Unexpected Decision from EFSA
The EFSA recently gave its updated conclusions on the titanium dioxide (E171) food additive. The results were a reassessment of the EFSA’s safety conclusions which were published on June 28, 2016 (which were themselves a reassessment of the EFSA’s original 2009 assessment). The most recent appraisal took into consideration new data that have been discovered or made available since 2016.
The EFSA’s most recent conclusions came as something of a surprise: the Agency has some doubts as to the safety of E171 based on several uncertainties and the fact that genotoxicity could not be completely ruled out.
A meeting between representatives of the European Commission and representatives from the 27 EU member states was held on May 18, 2021. Participants discussed the consequences of the EFSA’s opinion and suggested withdrawing E171 from the list of additives authorized within the EU.
A ban is expected to be adopted in September and come into force towards the end of the year. Transitional periods will likely apply, but a total ban is likely to be enforced from the end of 2022.