EFSA has issued an unfavourable opinion on the use of vanadium containing compounds in food


<div>The European Food Safety Authority EFSA has issued an unfavourable opinion on the use of vanadium containing compounds in food. The safe use of vanadium containing compounds could not be established based on the toxic effects caused by vanadium and the efficiency of the absorption of the compounds. It has not been permitted to add vanadium to foods other than food supplements.</div>

Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira is clarifying the products on the Finnish market that contain vanadium compounds and is taking the necessary measures. Evira requires that the products that contain the vanadium compounds mentioned in the opinion of EFSA are withdrawn from the market.

Vanadium is a metallic element which is found even in normal food in small quantities. In animal tests vanadium compounds have been found to be harmful to the kidneys, spleen and lungs and to increase the blood pressure. It has also been shown in many cell tests (in vitro) and in some animal tests that they have a genotoxic effect.

The opinion that now has been issued concerns the following vanadium compounds: vanadium citrate, bismaltolato oxo vanadium and bisglycinato oxo vanadium, vanadyl sulphate, vanadium pentoxide and ammonium monovanadate.  With the exception of vanadium pentoxide, the absorption of the now assessed vanadium compounds was shown to be greater than the vanadium compounds that are present in a normal dietary intake. Vanadium compounds that still have not been assessed are vanadium chelate, vanadium enriched yeast and vanadium sulphate.

The legislation of the European Community regulates the vitamins and minerals permitted in food supplements. It has also been allowed to use other than the permitted vitamins and minerals and their compounds (incl. certain vanadium compounds) in food supplements, if they have a history of having been used, information has been given on them for EFSA to assess and EFSA has not issued a negative opinion on them. Based on the opinions of EFSA, the sources of vitamins and minerals permitted in food supplements are legislated for in the European Community.

More information on the opinion is found on EFSA's Internet pages:

For additional information, please contact:
Risk assessment: Senior Officer Tero Hirvonen, tel. 020 77 24294
Evira’s procedures: Senior Officer Emma Pikkarainen, tel. 020 77 24291, 050 464 9354

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