Foodstuffs containing E171 on the European market: it's over!


It's official: from today, foodstuffs containing E171 can no longer be placed on the European market. Those that had been previously can remain so until their date of minimum durability or their expiry date.

The last step in a process to ban E171 in food in Europe

This deadline is the last regulatory step in the process ofban of E171 in Europe. It was planned in the European regulation 2022/63 of January 14, 2022 prohibiting the food additive titanium dioxide (E171), which entered into force on February 8, 2022. As a reminder, the annexes to the regulation were modified following the reversal of the position of the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in 2021 and the publication of a review concluding that this additive can no longer be considered "safe", due to potential genotoxic effects (DNA damage).

From 2025, this dye could also be banned in medicines.

In France, recalls of products containing E171

In France, food products containing titanium dioxide are no longer authorized since January 1, 2020. The French authorities continue to be vigilant about the marketing of these products: the DGCCRF again issued, in March and July 2022, several recalls of products containing E171, published on the RappelConso website.

Despite this European vigilance, E171 is still authorized in the USA… not for long?

This European vigilance raises questions on the other side of the Atlantic. Indeed, in the United States, titanium dioxide as a food additive is still authorized by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In July, a consumer filed a complaint (seeking to be considered a class action) in federal court for the Northern District of California against the company Mars which continues to market Skittles candies containing E1711Thames v Mars Inc, US District Court, Northern District of California, No. 22-04145, even though the company undertook to withdraw it of its products in 2016 (and that it has removed from M&M's in France). This action was reported by several media2The Guardian, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, etc. and although the case is still ongoing, the assessment and banning of E171 in Europe raises real health questions for the authorities that continue to authorize this additive in food. 

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Notes & references