EFSA review of the risks related to the exposure to the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171) performed by ANSES

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ABSTRACT - On 15 April 2019, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (ANSES) published an opinion on the risks related to the exposure to the food additive Titanium Dioxide (E 171) taking into account the most recent scientific studies available.

Further to this publication, EFSA was requested by the European Commission to provide urgent scientific and technical assistance regarding the opinion issued by ANSES. In the ANSES opinion, 25 new relevant publications published between 2017 and 2019 were reviewed together with previous opinions by EFSA and ANSES and a systematic review on in vitro genotoxicity of nano titanium dioxide. In this statement, EFSA concludes that the ANSES opinion published in April 2019 does not identify any major new findings that would overrule the conclusions made in the previous two scientific opinions on the safety of titanium dioxide (E 171) as a food additive issued by the EFSA ANS Panel in 2016 and 2018.

The ANSES opinion reiterates the previously identified uncertainties and data gaps, which are currently being addressed in the context of the follow up activities originating from the previous EFSA evaluations and their recommendations. In addition to the aspects for which the follow up work is currently ongoing, ANSES recommends further investigation of in vivo genotoxicity.

EFSA considers this recommendation should be revisited once the ongoing work on the physico-chemical characterisation of the food additive titanium dioxide (E 171) is completed.

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