The European Food Standards Authority (EFSA) has issued a priority list of food additives “for which scientific data are required to finalize their re-evaluation within deadlines established by European legislation.” Tasked with re-evaluating hundreds of food additives by 2020, EFSA’s Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food (ANS Panel) has asked member states and other stakeholders to provide the following information for 51 food additives: (i) “figures from industry on the amounts of these additives they report using in their products”; and (ii) “data derived from analyses indicating actual levels of these additives found in foods and drinks from national food authorities, research institutions, academia, food industry, and other stakeholders.”

To meet the evaluation deadlines, the ANS Panel has divided food additives into groups “based on the availability of scientific data.” The panel will accept data related to the 15 additives in the first group—which includes β-apo-8’- carotenal, titanium dioxide, and iron oxides and hydroxides—until July 2013, and data related to the second group—which includes cochineal, annatto and ascorbic acid—until November 2013. The list also prioritizes the following food colors “for which a possible exceedance of ADI [Acceptable Daily Intake] was identified” and which thus require refined exposure assessments: curcurmin, brown HT, azorubine/carmoisine, allura red AC, brilliant black BN, quinoline yellow, sunset yellow, and ponceau 4R. Hoping to finalize opinions on these additives before the 2015 legislative deadline, EFSA apparently plans to issue additional priority schedules in the future.