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FDA to set up Website covering food additives

THE Shanghai Food and Drug Administration will set up a Website offering information and consultations about food additives, and will also carry out research on the influence of a broad intake of food additives on the human body.

The local FDA made the announcement in response to questions posed by three deputies to the Shanghai People's Congress, the local lawmaker, who were concerned about the illegal use and abuse of food additives.

Standards on the use of additives came into force on June 1 with the first national food safety law. The standards set the maximum allowable levels of each legal food additive, and specify which additives can be used with which foods.

"It is illegal to use food additives not on the list or add legal additives to the wrong types of food," said Du Bing, an official from the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

"An online consultation system can be useful to help companies understand what's permitted and protect the safety and rights of consumers."

He said the bureau has received many phone calls asking for advice about the new standard.

Shanghai People's Congress deputies Chen Jie, Cheng Meihong and Wang Meiping expressed concern about the danger of the over-use of food additives and the use of illegal additives.

They said manufacturers should state clearly all food additives used in their products.

Under the law, manufacturers do not have to mention additives in raw materials, those used as food-processing aids, nutritional supplements, or in food without packaging or very small packaging.

But the authority can ask manufacturers to post details about all their products' additives and their possible side-effects online.

However, the current standard has no information about the effect of consuming a combination of food additives, so the local quality inspection authority and the FDA said they will cooperate to study the effects of consuming such combinations.


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