International Association of Color Manufacturers Applauds Revised EFSA Acceptable Daily Intake for Sunset Yellow

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 17, 2014) – The European Food Safety Authority’s (EFSA) Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel) has raised its acceptable daily intake (ADI) to 4 mg/kg body weight per day for Sunset Yellow, a food color used in a variety of foods and certified in the US as FD&C Yellow No. 6. This is in line with the latest conclusions from the UN/World Health Organization Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) evaluation, and further evidence of the safety of this important and useful food color. In its opinion published yesterday, EFSA also concluded that within the European Union the typical consumer intake for all age groups is far below this level.

In 2009, EFSA had re-evaluated the safety of Sunset Yellow and lowered the previous ADI to a temporary level of 1 mg/kg body weight. In the light of new data submitted to EFSA by the International Association of Color Manufacturers (IACM), as well as a review of additional published studies, the ADI has now been raised.

“We are pleased that as a result of EFSA’s rigorous evaluation it has raised the ADI for Sunset Yellow in line with JECFA and other international regulatory bodies,” said IACM Executive Director Sarah Codrea. “EFSA’s exposure estimates also provide a strong indication that the consumer exposure to this color is not high, and this is strong evidence that our member companies use colors only at the levels needed to achieve an appropriate technical effect.”

IACM continues to support efforts to maintain the safe use of colors in Europe and globally. The color industry takes its responsibility for consumer safety seriously and has sponsored many safety studies, the results of which have been evaluated by the US FDA and international regulatory bodies, including JECFA and EFSA. These studies continue to confirm the safety of synthetic colors, and as a result various coloring dyes have been approved for use in food, beverage, and other products globally.