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C 110 E/220 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.

2003

The SSC furthermore raises the issue of the possible presence of dioxins in the effluent of the alkaline
hydrolysis process and states that additional data / analyses were needed to verify whether during this
process dioxins are formed in addition to background levels that may already have been present.

The SSC’s opinions are available on the website: http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sc/ssc/index_en.html

As a consequence of the statements of the SSC the combined technology of alkaline hydrolysis and
anaerobic digestion is not approved as a safe processing method for disposal of animal by-products.
However, the Commission is analysing the revised opinion of the SSC, with the view to a possible need for
further data and with the view to laying down strict conditions for possible approval of the process to
ensure protection of human health, animal health and the environment, bearing in mind the shortcomings
highlighted in the opinion.

(1) OJ L 273, 10.10.2002.

(2003/C 110 E/245) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3550/02


by John Cushnahan (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(4 December 2002)

Subject: Monosodium glutamate E621

Could the Commission confirm that the flavouring monosodium glutamate E621 is not a ‘natural’
flavouring under the classification system established for flavourings under EU law? In that case, is it not
misleading for consumers and contrary to Article 2(i) of European Parliament and Council Directive 2000/
13/EC (1) for products containing E621 to be labelled as containing ‘no artificial flavourings’?

(1) OJ L 109, 6.5.2000, p. 29.

Answer given by Mr Byrne on behalf of the Commission

(9 January 2003)

E 621 Monosodium glutamate is authorised for use in certain foodstuffs as a food additive by Directive 95/
2/EC of the Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 1995 on food additives other than colours and
sweeteners (1). Monosodium glutamate is a flavour enhancer. Flavour enhancers are defined as follows in
Directive 95/2/EC, Article 1(l): ‘Flavour enhancers are substances which enhance the existing taste and/or
odour of a foodstuff.’ Flavour enhancers must be labelled on the foodstuffs by their category and specific
name or E-number.

Monosodium glutamate is not listed in the register of chemically defined flavouring substances laid down
by Commission Decision 1999/217/EC of 23 February 1999 adopting a register of flavouring substances
used in or on foodstuffs drawn up in application of Regulation (EC) No 2232/96 of the Parliament and of
the Council of 28 October 1996 (2), as last amended by Commission Decision 2002/113/EC of 23 January
2002 (3), and is therefore not a flavouring substance.

The presence of monosodium glutamate does therefore not preclude the label to indicate the absence of
artificial flavourings.

All the cited legislation is available from the web site of Directorate General Health and Consumer
Protection on additives and flavourings: http://europa.eu.int/comm/food/fs/sfp/addit_flavor/index_en.html.

(1) OJ L 61, 18.3.1995.


(2) OJ L 84, 27.3.1999.
(3) OJ L 49, 20.2.2002.