"We are fighting for safer food and the least possible food additives in the EU", Henrik Dam Kristensen, the Danish Farm Minister, claimed in a Danish radio interview on October 27. "This is a political fight involving the health of citizens", he stressed. All Danish parties are reported to be disappointed and upset by the Commission decision and have called on the Government to retain its specific food measures, even if they infringe EU rules.Danish measures.Before Directive 95/2/EC (scheduled for September 25, 1996) came into force to govern the use of additives (apart from colourings and sweeteners) in food, Danish legislation comprised a "positive list" (adopted in October 1988) defining the conditions for using additives, including nitrates, nitrites and sulphites, in food, along with Decree No 242 of April 17, 1991. Nitrates and nitrites are mainly used as food preservatives in such food items as sausages, and are considered as carcinogenic. Sulphites, which may cause allergies, are added to wine and dried fruit. The Directive was transposed in Denmark by a Decree of December 18, 1995, amplified by the positive list defining the conditions for using additives in food. On July 15, 1996, Denmark notified the Commission about the transposition of the Directive, but pointed out that the measures did not cover sulphites, nitrites and nitrates. It also said that as far as these additives were concerned the country planned to apply national provisions derogating from Directive 95/2/EC (in keeping with Article 100a.4 of the Treaty). On September 23, 1996, that is, two days before the deadline for transposing the Directive 95/2/EC, a new Decree was adopted to supplement the earlier decree and the positive list specifically covering sulphites, nitrites and nitrates.When the Council adopted Directive 95/2/EC (without further debate) on December 15, 1994, Denmark voted against. As for the use of nitrites/nitrates, sulphites and sodium aluminium phosphate, Denmark asserted that the Directive failed to meet the health requirements to which the country attaches key importance in the provisions for food additive. It reserved the right to retain national provisions for protecting human life and health in keeping with Article 100a.4 of the Treaty.--The framework Directive 89/107/EEC on additives that may be used in food was adopted on December 21, 1988. Article 3.2 proposes that the Council, acting on a Commission proposal, according to the procedure...

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