Commission Directive 2001/52/EC lays down specific criteria of purity concerning sweeteners for use in foodstuffs. This amends the purity criteria currently in place for mannitol (E421) and acesulfame-K (E950). Member States have until 30 June 2002 to implement the amending directive into national law and the Agency wishes to see this implemented as soon as possible following the end of the consultation period.
In addition, the Agency has received an application from Tate & Lyle Speciality Sweeteners seeking approval to market a new sweetener sucralose, in the UK. Article 5 of the Food Additives Framework Directive permits Member States to provisionally authorise the marketing and use of an additive within its territory which is not included in the relevant list (i.e. are not included in the list of permitted additives in the relevant directive). Such authorisation is permitted for a maximum of two years, during which time the applicant is required to seek EU-wide approval.
The Agency carried out a public consultation on Tate & Lyle's application and a summary of responses to this consultation can be seen on the Agency's website (www.foodstandards.gov.uk/consultations/sum_responses9.htm).
The Agency acknowledges the concerns voiced by some respondents to the consultation but it does not consider that they raise any food safety issues. Therefore in the absence of any scientific doubts over the safety of sucralose and in the interests of consumer choice the Agency has decided to proceed with the authorisation to market this product.
In considering this draft SI you should note that it relates to England only. Parallel regulations will be made for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Comments or views on the Draft SI are required by 4 December 2001.