Food Law News - EU - 2001

Standing Committee on Foodstuffs, 14-15 June 2001

ADDITIVES - Discussions at the Standing Committee on Foodstuffs - Exchange of views on Beta-Carotene used in foods

The view of Member States on the use of -carotene in food was sought following withdrawal of the Group ADI for carotenes (mixed carotenes and -carotene), -apo-8'-carotenal and its ethyl ester by the SCF.

Member States expressed concern about the -carotene levels that could be ingested by the population through fortified foods or food supplements containing that nutrient and some requested that the use of -carotene in such foods be banned or severely restricted. It should furthermore be ensured that the intake of -carotene from its use as food additive remains within the 1-2 mg / day estimated by the SCF. If necessary, the quantum satis allowance of carotenes in Directive 94/36/EC should be replaced by maximum levels.

The Commission services informed the CPDA that following the SCF's opinion, the Commission has requested information from industry on the real use of these substances. Furthermore, carotenes are prioritised for the next monitoring of intake of food additives by Member States according to Directive 94/36/EC on colours for use in foodstuffs. However, the Commission took the view that it was not appropriate to wait for the results of the next intake study and that Member States should submit any available information on the use of these substances before 31 July 2001, and thereafter continue to submit such information as and when it becomes available.

It was agreed that it was necessary to consider the appropriate action regarding the use of -carotene in foods taking into account all potential uses and on the basis of the information that will be provided by Member States and the industry.

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