The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) is currently consulting on a partial Regulatory Impact Assessment (RIA) on a proposal from the European Commission to amend European and Council Directive 94/35/EC on sweeteners for use in food beverages.
RIAs are policy tools which assess the impact of a proposed regulation in terms of costs, benefits and risks which could affect businesses, charities or the voluntary sector.
According to the Agency there are three main elements to the proposal. Firstly, it mentions changes to the conditions of use for two currently permitted sweeteners: cyclamic acid and its sodium and calcium salts (E952; 'cyclamate'), and aspartame (E951).
Secondly, it proposes the addition of two new substances: sucralose (E955) and salt of aspartame - acesulfame (E962) - to the list of sweeteners approved for use in the EU.
Finally, it will include proposed changes to the text of the Directive in order to bring it into line with other food additive directives and to reflect recent changes in Standing Committee procedures.
While the proposal will be implemented in England by an amendment to the Sweeteners in Food Regulations 1995 (as amended), the FSA adds that parallel legislation will be required in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The Agency's consultation runs until 26 September 2003.