The European Union Food Safety Authority classifies E 171 as “unsafe”. Switzerland now wants this article to be banned.
Added titanium dioxide (E 171 or CI 77891) can be found in many foods. For example, making chewing gum or salad dressings white or making chocolate or pastry drapery shine.
A new case of research
Titanium dioxide has also been controversial for a long time. Several studies indicate that the nanoparticles in the substance can cause chronic inflammation in the intestine or even cancer. That’s why E 171 has been banned in France since last year. Switzerland is now following the example and banning titanium dioxide. This is after prof NewportelongThe link opens in a new window European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Based on the current research situation, the harmful effect on the genetic material, which may lead to cancer, cannot be ruled out.
FSVO: «Population Protection»
The Federal Office of Food Safety and Veterinary Medicine (FSVO) draws conclusions: “Since the scientific basis calls into question the safety of titanium dioxide, measures must be taken to protect health,” says Mark Stober, responsible for food hygiene at FSVO, the SRF consumer magazine Espresso “. Therefore they will “prohibit the use of E 171 as a food additive on the basis of the precautionary principle”.
But it will take some time before the ban takes effect, says Stauber: First, the legal foundations must be reworked and feedback obtained. But it should be ready by the end of 2021 at the latest. However, this shouldn’t stop producers and food sellers from taking measures now. Some have already begun to do so.
“There are no acute health risks”
FSVO and EFSA have also reassured them that they simply want to be on the safe side with the new ban or designation. “This re-evaluation does not mean that consumers’ health is at serious risk,” says Stober. But there are simply some question marks that would justify the ban. However, you don’t have to eliminate all foods that contain the additive right away.
Also in non-food products
By the way, titanium dioxide is not only found in food. Cosmetic products such as sun creams or some tablets also contain the substance. These were not included in the most recent FCA assessment. It is therefore still considered safe, not least because the E 171 concentration is less potent than some foods. At least that is the case now (May 2021) – science is still working on the topic.