Draft Sweeteners in Food (Amendment) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2004
Friday 3 September 2004
Draft regulations implementing European Parliament and Council Directive 2003/115/EC amending directive 94/35/EC on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs, and Commission Directive 2004/46/EC amending Directive 95/31/EC.
All comments and views should be sent to:
Food Standards Agency Northern Ireland,
10a-c Clarendon Road,
Belfast BT1 3BG
Tel: 02890 417703
Fax: 02890 417726
Responses are requested by: 25 November 2004
The draft regulations, which will amend the Sweeteners in Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 to implement European Parliament and Council Directive 2003/115/EC and Commission Directive 2004/46/EC in Northern Ireland, are attached below. Your comments on the enclosed draft legislation are requested by 25 November 2004 at the latest please.
European Parliament and Council Directive 94/35/EC sets out a list of authorised sweeteners, the foodstuffs in which they may be used and their conditions of use. Commission Directive 2004/46/EC lays down specific purity criteria for two new sweeteners, sucralose (E955) and salt of aspartame-acesulfame (E962).
Directive 2003/115/EC of 22 December 2003, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (L24) on 29 January 2004, amends Directive 94/35/EC for the second time. The key changes are as follows:
- the authorisation of two new sweeteners, sucralose (E955) and salt of aspartame-acesulfame (E962) throughout the European Union (EU). The European Commission's Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) has found these sweeteners acceptable for use in food. Prior to their EU approval, sucralose and salt of aspartame-acesulfame were permitted to be marketed in the UK under a temporary national authorisation. These national authorisations are permitted under Article 5 of the Food Additives Framework Directive (89/107/EEC). When the proposed regulations come into force the authorisations for sucralose and salt of aspartame-acesulfame will be revoked. This will result in changes to the conditions of use of sucralose in some categories of foodstuffs.
- changes to the conditions of use for aspartame (E951). Aspartame can be used in additional categories.
- changes to the conditions of use of cyclamic acid and its sodium and calcium salts (E952; 'cyclamate'). Member States accepted that there was a need to reduce the maximum usable dose of cyclamate in soft drinks following the SCF's revised opinion on cyclamate (E952) published in March 2000. This opinion established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) for cyclamate of 0-7 mg/kg bw/day.
Directive 95/31/EC of 16 April 2004, which was published in the Official Journal of the European Communities (L114) on 21 April 2004, amends Directive 95/31/EC for the fourth time. Directive 2004/46/EC lays down specific purity criteria for sucralose and salt of aspartame-acesulfame.
The proposed regulations
The Sweeteners in Food Regulations (Northern Ireland) 1996 have been amended six times (in 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2002 and 2003) to implement amendments to Directives 94/35/EC and 95/31/EC respectively. The enclosed draft Sweeteners in Food (Amendment) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2004 will implement the provisions of these Directives in Northern Ireland.
Member States are required to implement the provisions of Directive 2003/115/EC into national legislation by 29 January 2005 and to prohibit products that do not comply with the Directive by 29 January 2006. The provisions of Directive 2004/46/EC are required to be implemented by 1 April 2005.
Colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales are drawing up their own Regulations to implement the new Directives and are carrying out similar consultation exercises.
Please let Debbie Niblock have your comments or views on the draft regulations. Please feel free to pass this document to anyone with an interest, or send us their contact details and we will arrange for copies to be sent to them.
Comments on the consultation process itself
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This consultation has been prepared in accordance with the HM Government Code of Practice on Consultation, which states that a consultation must follow better regulation best practice, including carrying out an Impact Assessment (Regulatory Impact Assessment in Scotland). The assessment is included in the consultation documents.
We are interested in what you thought of this consultation and would therefore welcome your general feedback on both the consultation package and overall consultation process. If you would like to assist us to improve the quality of future consultations, please feel free to share your thoughts with us by using the consultation feedback questionnaire.
Publication of personal data and confidentiality of responses
In accordance with the FSA principle of openness our Information Centre at Aviation House will hold a copy of the completed consultation. Responses will be open to public access upon request. The FSA will also publish a summary of responses, which may include personal data, such as your full name and contact address details. If you do not want this information to be released, please complete and return the Publication of Personal Data Form. Return of this form does not mean that we will treat your response to the consultation as confidential, just your personal data.
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