E171 no longer considered safe for use as a food additive

06 May 2021

On 6 May 2021, The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published its long-awaited safety assessment of titanium dioxide (TiO2) used as a food additive (E171)[1].

The assessment clearly underlines that TiO2 (nano)particles have the potential to induce DNA stand breaks and chromosomal damage – thus, the agency stated that a concern for genotoxicity could not be ruled out.  Overall, based on current existing evidence, it was concluded by the expert panel of EFSA that E171 “can no longer be considered safe when used as a food additive”. Moreover, EFSA also considered that it was uncertain “whether a threshold mode of action could be assumed”.

SAFE – Safe Food Advocacy Europe welcomes the conclusions of this new safety assessment. NGOs and consumers alike have been calling for an EU-wide ban of this potentially harmful substance for several years. The new EFSA opinion applies to E171 as described in EC Reg. (EU) No 2031/2021 and paves the way for a revision of the second Annex of the Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 listing authorized food additives – meaning that an EU-wide ban of the substance could finally come true.

Read our press release here.

[1] https://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/pub/6585