The food sector has escaped European Commission legislation that threatened to force the industry to invest millions in registering and testing perfectly harmless ingredients.
Food bosses welcomed the move by the EC to exclude food and food ingredients from the European Union’s chemical legislation.
As part of the legislation, named Reach (registration, evaluation and authorisation of chemicals), companies have to demonstrate that as many as 30,000 substances can be used and produced without posing a threat to human health and the environment.
However, the Food and Drink Federation said that as the food industry was a user of chemicals in terms of packaging and factory cleaning, it would be investigating how the legislation may affect companies in other ways. A spokeswoman said: “We are starting to look at it now and will continue over the next few months.”