A food additive used in many sweets could soon be permanently banned throughout Europe. Some 20 toddlers worldwide are believed to have choked to death on the sweets.
Mini-cups are already barred from the European Union. Now the European Commission wants to get even tougher, issuing an open-ended ban on some additives used in individual portion sweets. It is also proposing to outlaw the synthetic preservative, propyl paraben, used in the jelly coating of pate and sweets. Sausages and cured meats are under the spotlight too. The EC wants to reduce the levels of cancer-causing chemicals used in their manufacture. Nitrites and nitrates are added to the meats to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. But the chemicals have been linked to cancer. EU governments and the European parliament have to agree to the proposals before they are adopted.