E171: EU watchdog says food colouring widely used in UK is unsafe

European Commission to propose ban after finding that carcinogenic effects cannot be ruled out

A food colouring used in products sold in the UK ranging from chewing gum and white chocolate to toothpaste and sauces for toddlers can no longer be ruled out as a cause of cancer, the European Food Safety Authority has said.

Titanium dioxide, or E171, is often used to whiten food products, but its use has long been a point of concern over fears that it could be carcinogenic. The French government announced a ban in 2019, but it is still used in other EU member states.

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