The European Commission is pressing MEPs and ministers to award it new powers over changing European Union (EU) rules on food additives by Christmas.

It has asked for special 'comitology' powers to amend future a EU regulation on "the addition of vitamins and minerals and of certain other substances to foods", currently under discussion. This would allow Brussels to make later changes to the law, without asking the EU Council of Ministers and the European Parliament for permission, as is usually the case with food safety laws.

The Commission's powers would cover "non-essential elements", including amendments, and deletions, although the importance of these changes has not been defined.