European Parliament voted for permanent ban on food additive E 425 konjac

The European Parliament considered the report by MEP Paulsen regarding the proposed ban on the use of a thickening agent used in confectionery, E 425 konjac, that can cause choking when it fails to dissolve in the mouth.

As of 27 March 2002, the Commission suspended the marketing and import of jelly confectionery containing the food additive E 425 konjac as well as the use of E 425 konjac in jelly confectionery. This measure was taken after the Commission had been informed of the risks involved in consuming jelly mini-cups, including several death cases in third countries that affected primarily children and elderly persons.

Parliament did not support the proposed amendment in MEP Paulsen’s report calling for the review of the maximum contents of additives frequently present in non-staple foods with a regard to their effects on children’s health, as before the vote Health and Consumer Safety Commissioner David Byrne assured the House that the Commission would carry out such a review in accordance with the existing legislation. (Non-staple foods are stabilisers, preservatives, flavourings and colourings in confectionery, soft drinks and snacks.)

Parliament supported the proposal to implement the ban in the Member States six months after the publication of the legislation.

 

On 11 February, Parliament voted by an overwhelming majority in support of the Commission's proposal for a ban on the use of the food additive E 425 konjac in jelly confectionery. Prior to the plenary vote in first reading under the codecision procedure, on 22 January, the Environment Committee had adopted by a unanimous vote the report by Marit Paulsen (ELDR, S) , proposing to modify Directive 95/2/EC on food additives other than colours and sweeteners.

 

Agreement is now expected between Parliament and the Council without the need for a second reading.

 

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