Artificial colours research: FSA's call to industry

Monday 10 September 2007

The announcement yesterday of the Agency's revised advice about certain artificial food colours has sparked considerable media and consumer interest, particularly in relation to which products contain these colours.

To make it easier for people to make informed choices about their children's diets, the FSA is calling on the food industry to provide information about the action they are taking about these colours.

The Agency’s Director of Consumer Choice and Dietary Health, Gill Fine, has today written to food manufacturers and retailer trade organisations to ask them to provide answers to the following questions:
Have their membership organisations taken any action regarding the specific colours used in the new FSA-commissioned study?
  • What are they planning to do in response to the Agency’s advice?
  • How do they intend to help customers who wish to avoid products that contain these colours?
  • The Agency has arranged a meeting with industry representatives next week to discuss their responses.
The FSA is also writing to the European Commission to ask that these colours are looked at as a matter of urgency and to assess whether any Europe-wide regulatory controls can be justified on the basis of all of the available evidence. The Agency will keep consumers updated on the progress of this work.

The FSA Board will be discussing the findings of the study and will receive a progress report at its Open Board meeting on 20 September.

The Agency is contacting consumer groups, who were invited to a briefing on the findings of the study this week, to involve them in a further consultation on the issues arising from the additives study.

link to website