France: ban of titanium dioxide (E 171) from the 1rst January 2020

On 17 April 2019, the French authorities decided, as a precaution, to ban the placing on the market of foodstuffs (including food supplements) containing titanium dioxide (E171) from 1 January 2020.

ban of titanium dioxide (E 171) from the 1rst January 2020

This decision follows the new opinion of ANSES (French scientific evaluation agency) published on 15 April 2019 highlighting the lack of scientific data to remove the uncertainties on the safety of the additive E171 (consisting of particles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) especially in nanoparticulate form). ANSES reiterates its recommendations for data to characterize the physicochemical forms of E171 and additional toxicological data on the potential effects related to their ingestion.

Under these conditions, in accordance with the provisions of Article 53 of the French law “Agriculture and Food” published on 1 November 2018 and the announcement made by Bruno Le Maire on 11 January 2019, an order suspending the placing on the market of foodstuffs containing additive E171 from 1 January 2020 has been signed and will be published shortly.

As the additive E171 is authorized at European Union level, this order will have to be notified to the European Commission and the other Member States, which will meet within 10 days to examine this measure.

We will keep you informed of the answer of the European Authorities, however we recommend to study as soon as possible reformulation solutions to change this additive for the French market.