EFSA: food colour for meat may cause cancer

11-07-2007 | |
EFSA: food colour for meat may cause cancer

Food colouring Red 2G (E 128), which is added to some breakfast sausages and burger meat, may cause cancer, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) said on Monday as it reviewed food additives used in the European Union.

Tests using animals indicated that aniline, a substance into which Red 2G is converted in the body, might cause cancer in animals and humans, possibly hitting the genetic material of cells, the EU main food safety body said in a statement.

“It is therefore not possible to determine a level of intake for aniline which may be regarded as safe for humans,” EFSA said.

EFSA’s scientific panel had withdrawn the accepted maximum daily intake recommendation for Red 2G but had stopped short of calling for a ban on the additive.

EFSA said it had informed the European Commission about its findings and it was up to the Commission and the member states to take action on the food colouring.

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