HC Deb 05 February 1996 vol 271 c25W
Mr. Redmond

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will list for each European Community country the permitted amount of cyclamates which were granted with effect from 1 January; what were the figures 12 months ago; and if he will make a statement. [12865]

Mrs. Browning

From 1 January 1996, all member states were required to permit the use of cyclamates in table-top sweeteners and in certain foods up to specified maximum levels in accordance with European Parliament and Council directive 94/35/EC of 30 June 1994 on sweeteners for use in foodstuffs—OJ No. L237, 10.9.94, p.3). Details concerning the maximum permissible levels of use of cyclamates in those foods are given in the annex to that directive.

Prior to the 1 January 1996 the use of sweeteners in foods was not subject to Community legislation and national rules applied in each member state. While precise details are not available, it is understood that the use of cyclamates was authorised to varying degrees in Germany, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal. Although these sweeteners were not permitted for food use in the United Kingdom because of uncertainties over their safety, the Department of Health's independent expert committee, the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment, has recently advised on the basis of the results of new studies, that there are no longer any health concerns preventing their use.

I have arranged for the COT's statement to be deposited in the Libraries of both Houses.