Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA Consultation Letter, 17 January 2003

ADDITIVES - Amendment to the Sweeteners In Food Regulations 1995 (as amended) to permit temporary national authorisation of a new sweetener 'salt of aspartame - acesulfame' in the UK

The Agency has received an application from The Holland Sweetener Company seeking approval to market a new sweetener, salt of aspartame - acesulfame, 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. In July, the European Commission published its proposal for amendment of the Sweeteners Directive (94/35/EC). This includes the addition of salt of aspartame - acesulfame to the list of approved sweeteners.

The Agency carried out a public consultation on The Holland Sweetener Company's application. Three responses were received; none of which raised any safety concerns that had not previously been raised for the individual components.

The FSA have prepared a draft Statutory Instrument. It does not include a table showing maximum usable doses and foodstuff categories for this sweetener. This is because the limits for this salt are based on the equivalent amounts of the two separate constituents, aspartame and acesulfame K when used as individual components. Accordingly, the salt can only be used in the foodstuff categories approved for both constituent components.

The FSA would be grateful for your comments on this particular issue as well as any others relating to the drafting of this regulation. They propose to publish guidance to this effect when this regulation comes into force.

The draft SI applies to England only. Parallel regulations will be made in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The consultation ends on 4 April 2003.

For the related EU News Item, see 31 July 2002

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