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EC withdraws confectionery additive

23-May-2003

The European Commission has announced the permanent withdrawal of the confectionery additive konjac (E425).

The move comes after fears that the additive can potentially cause fatal choking.

 

The European Council has now adopted the European Commission's proposal to revise Directive 95/2/EC, permanently withdrawing the authorisation for use of the additive in jelly confectionery, including so-called jelly mini-cups.

 

This follows emergency measures by the Commission in March 2002 that suspended the placing on the market and import of jelly confectionery containing E425 konjac.

 

The temporary ban remains in force until the permanent ban replaces it, 20 days after publication of the directive in the Official Journal of the EU.

 

The Commission proposal to withdraw authorisation for konjac in jelly confectionery was made to protect consumer health following the death of children in the US and Canada due to choking on jelly mini-cups containing konjac.

 

The jelly mini-cups containing konjac are considered to constitute a risk because of their shape and form, as well as the chemical and physical properties of konjac.

 

The additive is also used as a gelling agent and thickener in other food products.

 

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