Codex's GSFA accepts nine dietary supplement additives

By Alex McNally

- Last updated on GMT

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The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations
(IADSA) is claiming a victory in securing higher levels for nine
additives used in food supplements into Codex's draft risk analysis
standards for safety.

IADSA feared the Codex guidelines for the allowable levels would be too low to meet demand and would pose a barrier to trade. But the Codex General Standard for Food Additives (GSFA), which sets down the conditions for permitted food additives for all supplements, has now agreed the higher levels for castor oil, polysorbates, polyvinyl alcohol, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, cyclamates, neotame, saccharin, and sucralose. A US-led working group had been charged with drawing up a list of allowed additives and with setting levels based on technical justification and safety. The group had previously drafted lower than expected guidelines. The result, announced on Friday after the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting in Rome, follows an active campaign by IADSA members to share scientific and technical information with their various national ministry officials supporting the final adoption of these additives. IADSA Manager of Regulatory Affairs David Pineda said: "This is an excellent result." "The adoption of these additives will help to ensure free trade in dietary supplements across the world and encourage countries to change legislation that is not in conformity with these Codex standards." ​The news marks more than a year of hard work by IADSA buts its job is not yet over. An additional 13 additives including the sweetener aspartame-acesulfame salt and colours are due to be considered for inclusion next year. The approved levels are: castor oil (1,000 mg/kg), polysorbates (25,000 mg/kg), polyvinyl alcohol (45,000 mg/kg), acesulfame potassium (2,000 mg/kg), aspartame (5,500 mg/kg), cyclamates (1,250 mg/kg), neotame (90 mg/kg), saccharin (1,200 mg/kg), and sucralose (2,400 mg/kg). It has been far from an easy ride for IADSA and the Codex working group, which last year proposed four additives - iron oxides, castor oil chlorophylls/copper complexes and Erythrosine - be removed from the list. IADSA was successful in getting this over turned. These deletions and proposed lower limits arose because the working group did not have enough information on why the additives were needed and at what levels. To help rectify this, IADSA had compiled data on additive use from its membership, comprised of 57 associations. While Codex does not have the same force of law as an EU directive or national legislation, Codex limits are used as a reference point for countries that are looking at revising or creating legislation.

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