EFSA Requests More Info from Industry

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Panel on additives, flavorings, processing aids and materials in contact with food (AFC) is working on a systematic evaluation of the safety of flavoring substances currently in use in the European Union. The European member states identified 2,800 flavoring substances that may be used in and on foodstuffs, which have been divided into 48 groups by their chemical make-up. In order to confirm that their use is safe, EFSA’s AFC panel has been looking into intake levels, absorption, metabolism and toxicity of individual substances in humans. During the process, the EFSA has identified gaps in the information, and is turning to the industry requesting more information. The type of data missing varies from production volumes to information on toxicity that might require additional research and testing in vitro and in vivo. Recently, one substance, 2-methyl-1,3-butadiene (isoprene), has been identified where there are adequate data to question its safety with any certainty, given its genotoxic potential and carcinogenic effects in experimental animals. EFSA aims to complete the evaluations of all the substances by April 2008.
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