In an article published on April 13, 2017 by news provider Bakery and Snacks, reporter Niamh Michail informed that the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) has released an opinion regarding food-based exposure to titanium dioxide (TiO2) nanoparticles. The French health and agriculture ministers asked ANSES to reevaluate the food additive’s approval in light of a recent study showing that chronic oral exposure of rats to TiO2 may cause precancerous colorectal lesions (FPF reported).

ANSES noted that the study, conducted by scientists from the French National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), does not “enable conclusions to be drawn on the effects of TiO2 in humans.” Also, the study’s results “are not sufficient to call into question the assessment of E171 [(i.e. food additive TiO2)] undertaken by EFSA [(European Food Safety Authority)],” ANSES stated. However, ANSES stressed “the need to conduct various studies to fully characterize the hazard associated with E171” as INRA’s study demonstrated effects that were not previously identified.

Overall, ANSES recommended i) limiting exposure of workers, consumers, and the environment to nanomaterials, ii) weighing the usefulness and clearly demonstrating the benefits of nanomaterials for consumers and the general public, and c) reinforcing traceability of consumer products containing nanomaterials. ANSES’ full opinion is available in French on the agency’s website.

Read more

Niamh Michail (April 13, 2017). “ANSES: We can’t challenge EFSA’s opinion on titanium dioxide (yet) but industry should find replacements.Bakery and Snacks

ANSES (April 12, 2017). “Titanium dioxide nanoparticles in food (additive E171): Biological effects need to be confirmed.


ANSES (April 4, 2017). “Avis de l’agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travail relatif à une demande d’avis relatif à l’exposition alimentaire aux nanoparticules de dioxyde de titane.(pdf; in French)