The new EU Directives
Directive 2001/5/01 (OJ No. L55, 24.2.2001) amends Directive 95/2/EC to take into account recent technological developments. In addition to two new uses of an existing additive (glycerol esters of wood rosins), five new additives have been added to the positive list of permitted additives, following their approval on safety grounds by the Scientific Committee on Food. These are zinc acetate for use in chewing gum, and four additives requested by UK industry (hydrogen as a packaging gas, and the three propellant gases butane, iso-butane and propane in vegetable oil pan sprays and water-based emulsion sprays). The latter were the subject of a UK temporary authorisation under the provisions of Article 5 of Directive 89/107/EEC (the food additives "framework" Directive) which ended on 31 December 1997. The implementation of Directive 2001/5/EC will permit the marketing of these products to resume, to the benefit of industry and consumers.
Commission Directive 2001/30/EC (OJ No. L146, 31.5.2001) amends Directive 96/77/EC for the third time and lays down new specific purity criteria for certain miscellaneous additives. This amendment covers most of the additives listed in Council Directive 95/2/EC (as amended) that have not previously been included in the earlier purity criteria Directives (96/77/EC, 98/86/EC, 2000/63/EC).
The proposed regulations
The Miscellaneous Food Additives Regulations 1995 have already been amended three times (in 1997, 1999, and 2000) to implement previous amendments to Directives 96/77/EC and 95/2/EC. The enclosed draft Miscellaneous Food Additives (Amendment) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2001 implement :
Although Member States have until 1 June 2002 and 24 August 2002, respectively, to implement into national legislation the provisions of Directive 2001/30/EC and those of Directive 2001/5/EC, it is planned that the new regulations will come into force in England on 15 January 2002 to enable industry and consumers to benefit from the changes as soon as possible.
Colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are drawing up their own Regulations to implement the two Directives and are carrying out their own parallel consultation exercises.
It is likely that there will be no resource implications, but please let me know if there are any resource implications for your organisation. The provisions of Directive 2001/5/EC will enable manufacturers to use a slightly wider range of additives, and the provisions of Directive 2001/5/EC are understood to reflect current industry practice.