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Meat Products: Additives

Volume 463: debated on Tuesday 17 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what research he has commissioned into the impact on health of E number additives found in burgers and sausages. (149645)

The Food Standards Agency has responsibility for food additive issues. No research has been commissioned by the FSA into the impact on health of E number additives found in burgers and sausages.

All additives are subject to strict European Union legislative controls and are assessed for safety by independent experts before permission is granted for their use in food. Existing additives are re-evaluated in light of new scientific information and the European Food Safety Authority is currently re-evaluating all colours used in food.

EFSA’s re-evaluation of the additive Red 2G (E128) a colour permitted in specific types of sausages and burgers has shown that in laboratory tests it may have the potential to damage the genetic material in cells and cause cancer in animals. Based on that opinion, the FSA has recommended that food producers stop using Red 2G.