Food Law News - EU - 2002

FSA Letter, 27 June 2002

ADDITIVES - Amendment to Directive 96/77/EC on purity criteria of food additives

A European Commission Directive amending Commission Directive 96/77/EC for a fourth time was adopted unanimously by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health on 14 June 2002.

The final text will shortly be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities and will be based upon Doc. SANCO/779/2002 (WGA/011/00 rev 6).

Member States have until 31 August 2003 to implement the provisions of the new Directive into national legislation.

To this end, Food Standards Agency solicitors will draw up regulations to further amend the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995. These will be subject to full consultation in due course.

The adopted Directive is the latest in a series of amendments to existing technical legislation covering the purity criteria for food additives other than colours and sweeteners.

It amends some of the specifications previously laid down for the phosphates (E338-341 and 450-452) and lays down purity criteria for the recently permitted propellant and packaging gases, butane (E943a), isobutane (E943b), propane (E944) and hydrogen (E949) as well as zinc acetate (E650) amongst others.

You will also wish to be aware of the detail of the next proposal to amend Commission Directive 96/77/EC.

This was tabled at the recent meeting of the Commission's Food Additives Working Group, in response to the SCF opinion on ethylene oxide residues in food additives.

The draft proposal will set a new limit of 0.2 mg/kg for ethylene oxide and ethylene halohydrins in the specific purity criteria for E 431 - 436 and polyethylene glycol.

Copies of the draft document (WGA/005/02rev1) are available on request. The proposal will be referred to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health in due course.

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