Food Law News - UK - 2000

FSA Letter, 22 September 2000

ADDITIVES - Implementation of Second Amendment to Directive 96/77/EC Laying Down Specific Purity Criteria on Food Additives Other Than Colours and Sweeteners

The Commission Directive on the above topic was adopted by Member States at the meeting of the Standing Committee of Foodstuffs in May. The FSA has now circulated a copy of draft Regulations which will amend the Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995 in order to implement this Directive. They seek comments on the draft legislation, together with likely financial impact (costs and benefits) on businesses in England, by 20 November 2000 at the latest.

The aim of the Directive is to amend Commission Directive 96/77/EC by laying down new specific purity criteria (specifications) for certain miscellaneous additives, listed in Annex II to the new Directive, and by amending the existing purity criteria in Directive 96/77/EC for one additive butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). The text has yet to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, but, it is expected to be based on Doc. III/0000/98 rev. 2, incorporating minor amendments agreed at the Standing Committee meeting. No substantive changes are expected on publication in the Official Journal. Member States will have until 31 March 2001 to implement these new criteria into national law.

The Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995 have already been amended twice to implement two sets of specifications set out in earlier Commission Directives, 96/77/EC and 98/86/EC. The draft Miscellaneous Food Additives Amendment (England) Regulations 2001 implement the new Directive by way of a cross reference in Regulation 3, and by deleting from Schedule 5 to the 1995 Regulations the additives it covers. In addition, a provision has been included at Regulation 4 permitting additives or food containing additives put on the market before 31 March 2001 and not complying with the new Regulations to be marketed until stocks are used up.

Since the new additive specifications are understood to reflect current industry practice, the changes are not expected to result in any significant increase or decrease in costs.

The current miscellaneous additives legislation applies in Great Britain. However, the functions of Ministers in respect of food safety are now fully devolved to Scottish Ministers and the National Assembly for Wales. The FSA is consulting separately on draft Scottish, Welsh and Northern Ireland legislation.

Note: the draft legislation is currently available at

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