EU corrects silicon dioxide, silicate limits

Amendment corrects an error that would otherwise have wiped a number of food supplements off the EU market.

The publication this month of Regulation (EU) No 438/2013 amending the silicon dioxide and silicate limits in food supplements corrects an error that would otherwise have wiped a number of food supplements off the EU market, Food Supplements Europe has said.

The error—spotted by members of Food Supplements Europe—occurred when the additives in question were transposed into the new Regulation.

The European trade association said that while the level of silicon dioxide and silicates (E 551 - E 559) for food supplements was set in the original food additives legislation (Directive 95/2/EC) as Quantum satis, a regulation published in 2011 (Regulation 1129/2011) set a new maximum level of 1 percent in error.

Silicon dioxide is used as both an anti-caking agent and a stabilizer, depending on the product type. Typically, usage levels exceed 1 percent.

“We welcome the decision of the European Commission to correct the error,” said Ingrid Atteryd, chair of the Swedish food supplements association Föreningen Svensk Egenvård and member of Food Supplements Europe. “We are pleased to see that the amendment was published before Regulation 1129/2011 takes effect on June 1. The original version of the additives legislation is very clear in the Quantum satis level that is set for these additives in food supplements, and the new level limit was simply a drafting error. If this incorrect entry had remained in the additives legislation, once the transition period ended a large number of food supplements would have needed reformulation or been wiped off the market immediately.”

The new amending Regulation will enter into force on June 1, 2013.    


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