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The EU food watchdog said that a widely used additive known on food labels as artificial color E171 should no longer be considered safe for consumption.

E171 contains nanoparticles of titanium dioxide and is commonly used in Consumer goods used. In food, it is mainly used as a whitener and brightener in candy, chewing gum, white sauces and cake icing.

The Italy-based European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stated that after a review of the evidence, there is a risk that titanium dioxide Nanoparticles could cause DNA damage and that no safe daily intake could be established.

“Taking into account all available scientific studies and data, the Panel concluded that titanium dioxide as a food additive is no longer considered safe “said Maged Younes, Chair of EFSA’s Panel of Experts on Food Additives.

It is now up to the European Commission and individual EU Member States to decide whether the additive should be banned.

France has its uses discontinued in food last year after research found Ti Titanium dioxide could cause precancerous lesions in laboratory rats.

“A key element in reaching this conclusion is that we cannot rule out genotoxicity concerns after ingestion of titanium dioxide particles,” Younes said in a statement.

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“After ingestion, titanium dioxide particles are poorly absorbed, but they can build up in the body.”

Matthew Wright, EFSA Working Group Chair on E171, added: “Although there is evidence of general toxic effects were inconclusive, due to the new data and increased methods we could not rule out a concern about genotoxicity.

“And consequently we could not establish a safe level for the daily intake of the food additive.”

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