The FIAP package unites and replaces several different pieces of legislation covering food additives which have been in place in the European Union for decades. Adopted in early 2009, it is intended to simplify the regulatory system for food additives, flavourings and enzymes used as processing aids.
The content of Annex II, which lists permitted additives per category, and Annex III, which lists additives approved for use in other additives, flavourings, enzymes, nutrients and other substances for nutritional or physiological purpose, are still under discussion.
ELC has pursued active cooperation with the Commission, and participated in a working group meeting of the Advisory Group on the Food Chain and Animal and Plant Health in Food Additives in Brussels last week. A spokesperson for the federation told FoodNavigator.com that the Commission recognised that the specialty ingredients sector’s voice and comments will be needed.
“We think it’s on the right track,” she said. The federation has said that the new single list of permitted additives per category, according to the new Food Categorisation System devised for this legislation, is particularly helpful and will help consumers understand the need for additives in safe, healthy and tasty products.
It added that there are still “number of adjustments” to Annex II needed to accurately reflect existing authorisations.
ELC has said it will “continue supporting the Commission in its work, by demonstrating the case of need for food additives in given applications, providing suggestions to improve the overall legibility of the Annex in a user-friendly perspective, and proposals for the establishment of adequate transition periods”.
Pushing back the time-frame?
Annex III is recognised as being a particularly “massive and difficult task”, and ELC has reiterated its intention to keep working with the Commission to make this as simple and practical as possible.
The provisions of the future Annex III are meant to take over the existing provisions for flavourings (Directive 95/2/EC) but are new legislation as regards the use of additives in food additives, food enzymes, nutrients and other substances added for nutritional and physiological purposes, she explained, adding that they need to be developed on the basis of the long-standing experience of manufacturers of additives, enzymes and nutrients, who know which additives are needed to produce these ingredients and why they are needed.
“Failure to develop a simple and practical Annex III would result in interpretation questions and would have direct consequences on business,” she said.
The ELC has said that if necessary it would be better to delay adoption of Annex III than to settle for a final version that could disrupt the ingredients market.
Written comments on drafts of the annexes are currently being accepted until tomorrow, and final consultation with member states will take place this month and next.
The draft proposal is expected to be finalised by the end of 2010, with presentation for a standing committee over in January 2011.