E171 Titanium dioxide: scheduled for removal in mid-April.

Bruno The mayor changes his mind: After having announced on January 8 that he did not want to suspend E171, which is present in many food products, the Minister of Economy and Finance reversed his words and undertook to sign the long-awaited order to make the suspension of titanium dioxide effective in mid-April. A deadline which, according to the Minister, would make the decision legally secure, and which also recognised the importance of implementing the precautionary principle to protect the health of fellow citizens.
Ahe associations - including Agir pour l'Environnement, Foodwatch, Générations Futures - welcome this clarification from the Minister, even if they regret that the suspension will take another three months. They point out that each additional day exposes consumers to a potential carcinogenic risk. In a joint statement, the NGOs state : "The Minister recognized the importance of implementing the precautionary principle to protect the health of fellow citizens. They say they "deployed a mountain of food products in front of Bercy to remind the urgency to act", before their meeting. "The Minister, who intended to hide behind a supposed scientific doubt about the health impact of this additive and the free movement of goods in order not to adopt the expected decree, has finally heard our calls for respect of the precautionary principle".The president of the UFC-Que Choisir Alain Bazot was pleased with the results.

Administrative prevarication

In May 2018, the Secretary of State for Ecological Transition, Brune Poirson, announced that this would be done by the end of the year. This decision was also enshrined in the Agriculture and Food Act enacted last November.
But at the end of December 2018, Bercy refused to draft the decree allowing the suspension of the use of titanium dioxide, considering that "there would be no sufficiently serious or immediate danger to activate the safeguard clause at the European level".
Bruno Le Maire then confirmed this decision, Tuesday, January 8 on the "C to you" tray, then invoking "different assessments" as to the "potential hazard of the product".
But finally, on Friday 11 January, after having received several associations, the Minister of the Economy reconsidered his position "and undertakes to sign the long-awaited decree to make the suspension of titanium dioxide effective in mid-April", stated Agir pour l'Environnement, Foodwatch and Générations Futures in their joint press release.
This "mid-April" deadline would allow "the legal conditions necessary for this ban to be met". Bruno Le Maire therefore asked the ANSES (National Agency for Health Safety and the Environment) to submit the results of "its work on nanoparticles on the TiO2 [titanium dioxide] component by 15 April.
In order to meet the legal conditions necessary for this ban, Bruno Le Maire therefore asks ANSES to accelerate its work on nanoparticles on the TiO2 component by April 15, in order to update its previous assessment on the basis of the new studies available. On the basis of this ANSES report, the Government will refer the matter to the European Commission. The Minister will exercise his safeguard right by taking a unilateral decision to ban E171, if necessary.
The Government's report to Parliament foreseen in the EGALIM law on nanoparticles will be transmitted before the end of next week.
Bruno Le Maire will bring together the industrialists concerned in the coming days so that they can provide ANSES with the useful data for this new study.

Some manufacturers are giving up titanium dioxide

Major groups such as Picard, Super U, Casino and Carrefour have announced their intention to remove titanium dioxide containing food products from their shelves. Williams Saurin or Carambar & Co, for their part, have announced their intention to remove the additive from "their recipes".
Then, in December 2018, the Mars Group announced that it would " un invest 70 million euros in its Alsatian plant, mainly to eliminate titanium dioxide from its products by mid-2010". In these premises, where "90 % of M&M'S European production" are manufactured, the industrialists will start "to produce this candy without E171 mid-2019".
Please note that cosmetic and pharmaceutical products will not be covered by this Order .

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