Food Law News - UK - 2001

FSA Scotland Letter, 3 July 2001

ADDITIVES - Implementation of Second Amendment to Commission Directive 95/45/EC Laying Down Specific Purity Criteria Concerning Colours for Use in Foodstuffs (Scotland)

The FSA Scotland wrote on 23 April to inform interested parties that the above Commission Directive had been adopted by Member States at the meeting of the Standing Committee of Foodstuffs on 2-3 April 2001. This letter enclosed a copy of draft Regulations which will amend the Colours in Food Regulations 1995 (as amended) in order to implement this Directive. Comments on the draft legislation, together with likely financial impact (costs and benefits) on businesses in Scotland, are requested by 31 August, at the latest.

The New EU Directive

The aim of the Directive is to amend Commission Directive 95/45/EC in order to expand the specific purity criteria (specifications) for beta-carotene (E160a(ii)) to include beta carotene produced from Blakeslea trispora. This was extended as a result of the evaluation by the Scientific Committee on Food which concluded that beta carotene from this source is equivalent to the approved chemically synthesised material. Additionally the amendment permits the use of any edible oil, as opposed to the previously permitted use of soya oil only, in the preparation of mixed carotenes (E160a(i)) from the algae Dunaliella salina.

The text of the new Directive has yet to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities, but, as I explained in my earlier letter, it is expected to be based on doc. Sanco/2001/0862. [Now available - see OJ L190, 12.7.2001, page 14]

The proposed regulations

The Colours in Food Regulations 1995 have already been amended to implement changes to the colours specifications set out in Commission Directive 1999/75/EC. The draft Colours in Food Amendment (Scotland) Regulations 2001 implement the new Directive by way of a cross reference in Regulation 3.


Although Member States have until 30 June 2002 to implement the provisions of the new Directive into national law, it is planned that the new Regulations will come into force in Scotand on 15 January 2002 to enable industry to benefit from the changes as soon as possible.

Devolved administrations

Colleagues in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are drawing up their own Regulations to implement the new Directive and are carrying out their own parallel consultation exercises. [For England, see 15 June 2001]

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