Food: Chemicals

Health written question – answered on 4th March 2014.

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Photo of George Galloway George Galloway Respect, Bradford West

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what information his Department holds on the health risks posed by synthetic chemicals used in the processing, packaging and storing of food.

Photo of Jane Ellison Jane Ellison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) leads on the safety of food additives and food contact materials (FCMs).

The use of food additives is subject to harmonised European Union (EU) legislation and a pre-marketing authorisation regime which includes the assessment of possible health risks.

Harmonised EU legislation requires food business operators to ensure FCMs do not endanger human health. Based on toxicological assessments undertaken by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the legislation sets limits for chemical migration into food to ensure consumers are protected. The FSA commissions research and surveillance projects which investigate exposure to chemicals from FCMs, and publishes the results on their website. Details of the FSA's research projects can be found at:

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