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Food (Colouring Regulations)

Volume 113: debated on Monday 30 March 1987

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asked the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food when he intends to publish the Food Advisory Committee's report on its "Review of the Colouring Matter in Food Regulations 1973"; and if he will make a statement.

The report has been published today and we have arranged for copies to be placed in the Library of the House.This report contains some very important recommendations which will require careful consideration. Implementation of a number of the recommendations would require amendment to EC legislation and we will be discussing these with our European partners as appropriate. We consider, however, that three of the recommendations which concern restrictions on the use of colours in food are amenable to early action. Accordingly, we intend shortly to issue proposals for legislation:

  • (i) to put into regulations the present voluntary agreement with the industry not to use added colours in foods specially prepared for babies and young children with the exception of three colours which are also vitamin sources;
  • (ii) to remove yellow 2G from the permitted list of colours, and
  • (iii) to prevent the use of methyl violet for the marking of the rinds of citrus fruits.
  • We are seeking comments on the committee's other recommendations, in particular the committee's proposals to reduce the levels of use of colours in food by setting maximum levels of use, and will consider further action when we have assessed the comments received.