The European Parliament today (10 July) voted for more openness within proposed common EU authorisation procedures for food additives, enzymes and flavourings.

In formal amendments to four EU regulations controlling the use of additives of all kinds, the Parliament said any application to market a new additive should be notified not only to member states but also to MEPs and the food industry at large.

The amendment said "applicants should be granted scientific data protection for five years", when forced to reveal sensitive trade secrets.

In other changes to proposals made by the European Commission, the Parliament said flavourings should be labelled "natural" only if 95% of the flavouring element is of natural origin". The Commission had suggested a threshold of 90%.

MEPs also proposed any additive authorisation procedures consider their effect on the environment. MEPs also wanted additional restrictions on nanotechnology additives. The EU Council of Ministers will now consider their proposals.