Proposed by the European Commission, the modifications are designed to simplify existing legislation rather than to add any new or additional uses of additives.
“The current legislation is a bit of a mess and hard for industry to understand and to navigate. What the EC is trying to do is just to simplify it and make it easier for industry to check the different additives they intend to use,” an FSA spokesperson told FoodNavigator.com.
The current European legislation on food additives consists of a framework directive and three specific directives on colours (94/36/EC), sweeteners (94/35/EC) and remaining food additives (95/2/EC). Under the proposed regulation, additives would be transferred from these three directives to Annex II of Regulation 1333/2008. In addition, the regulation also specifies that the additives would be listed on the basis of the categories of food to which they may be added.
The EC, which has created new tables that list permitted food additives under 16 different food categories, has already consulted informally with industry trade associations and with EU member states on the proposed modifications.
FSA is now seeking advice from stakeholders in the UK on any omissions or errors in the new lists. It is also calling for comments on the descriptors of the food categories, which are intended to be advisory rather than legally binding.
Comments must be submitted by the end of August, and will be added to EU working group discussions due to be held in July and September.
The new legislation is due to be adopted in January 2011, and is expected to come into force next summer.
For more information on the proposed legislation and to submit comments, click here.