France will ban the use of titanium dioxide as a food additive from 2020 after the country’s health and safety agency said there was not enough evidence to guarantee the safety of the substance.
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Titanium dioxide is widely used in industry as a whitener, notably for paint, and in the food sector, where it is labeled E171 and goes into products from chocolate to chewing gum.
France had ordered a review of the substance in 2017 after a study found health effects in animals that consumed it.
France’s National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) and partners in a study of oral exposure to titanium dioxide had shown that E171 crosses the intestine wall in animals to reach other parts of the body.