The natural pigment carmine or cochineal extract (E120), which, hundreds of years ago, was used to dye cloth and fur, became a relatively cheap option for providing red colouring in food in the last century. Whether in salami, sausages, ham, ice cream, cakes, juice or fruit yogurt, carmine was omnipresent. Few people know that the natural colourant was obtained from a species of bugs, cochineal bugs or Dactylopius coccus/Coccus cacti, which originates from South America and lives on certain varieties of cactus. The colourant is made from the powder obtained by crushing the female of the species, which have previously been drowned and then dried. 70 000 bugs are required to obtain 250 g of carmine.
What tools can the Commission use to encourage Romania to stop using food colourants, given the fact that other Member States have already taken the decision to do so?