On April 17th, following a subsequent ANSES study, the French government signed an order to ban E171 in food from January 1st, 2020. The order has been sent to the UE commission and if approved, food with E 171 shall not be sold in France after January 1st, 2020.
Products including E171 are mainly confectionnery, cakes (and also medicines, toothpaste, sunscreen, but they are not concerned by the order).
Titanium dioxide is commonly used as a pigment for whitening and brightening candies, pastries, chewing gum and even sunscreen. Studies discovered that the food additive may cause cancer.
Brune Poirson, a junior minister in environmental ministry said: “We want to suspend the use of this substance as a food additive in France by the end of the year.”
France posed an inquiry to the European Commission to suspend titanium dioxide. As a result the Commission requested the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to examine four additional studies before deciding final steps regarding titanium dioxide. EFSA announced to reveal the findings this summer.
Critics underline that titanium dioxide add no nutritional value to the product, doesn’t increase the products shelf life and also pose an health risk because nano particles might pass through protective walls of organs such as lungs, liver or intestines.