The UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) announced this week that new regulations giving a two-year temporary national authorisation to market a new sweetener - 'salt of aspartame-acesulfame' - have come into force as of the 27 May 2003.
The new regulations for the salt - a chemical combination of two already permitted sweeteners, aspartame (E951) and acesulfame K (E950) at an equivalent mixture of 1:1 - fall under 'The Sweeteners in Food (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2003 (SI 2003 No. 1182)'
The announcement follows the recent ruling by the European Competitiveness Council giving the all clear to two intense sweeteners, sucralose and aspartame-acesulfame. The European Commission had proposed the acceptance of the sweeteners following an opinion by the Scientific Committee on Food (SCF) - an independent committee that advises the Commission on questions concerning consumer health and food safety, and sets Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) levels - that gave the green light to the sweeteners.
The FSA also revealed that parallel regulations have been prepared in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
However, while this legislation came into force in Northern Ireland on 2 June, the implementation of it in Scotland and Wales has been delayed due to recent parliamentary elections. The FSA anticipates that the regulations will come into force in Scotland on 26 June and in Wales on 25 July.
Copies of the regulations can be obtained from The Stationery Office.