The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently concluded that there is sufficient evidence that glycidyl fatty acid esters – contaminants formed during the processing of refined vegetable oils – are genotoxic and carcinogenic.
The highest levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters were found in palm oils and palm fats.
According to EFSA, babies are exposed to up to ten times the acceptable levels through infant formula.
Although levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters in palm oils and fats have halved in the past 6 years, palm oil remains the biggest contributor for most individuals. Present in snacks, biscuits, bread sticks, crackers and dozens of other foods and children’s foods, palm oil is a potential health concern, especially for children and young people, as well as for all those people who consume foods that are rich in palm fatty acids.
In light of the above, can the Commission state:
– how it intends to manage the potential risks for consumers from exposure to these substances in food; and
– whether it intends to adopt regulatory measures to limit the presence of risky compounds in palm oils in order to protect human health?