Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA was asked to deliver a scientific opinion on the re-evaluation of the safety and efficacy of carmine (sensory additive, functional group: colourants substances that add or restore colour in feeds) for cats and dogs. The additive consists of aluminium lakes of carminic acid (carmines), which are complexes of aluminium and carminic acid. Carminic acid, produced from the female insect Dactylopius coccus Costa, is the colouring principle and is present in the final additive at 50%. The additive does not pose a risk concerning genotoxicity and is considered safe for dogs and cats at 264 and 220 mg Carmine/kg feed, respectively (which correspond to 132 and 110 mg carminic acid/kg feed, respectively). Due to the nature of the additive, the FEEDAP Panel concluded that allergic reactions may occur in the target species following the ingestion of feeds containing the additive. The FEEDAP Panel concluded that the exposure of users by inhalation is very likely, and that carmine is a respiratory and skin sensitiser; however, due to the lack of data, a conclusion cannot be reached on the potential skin and eye irritation of the additive. The additive is considered to be efficacious in feeds for dogs and cats under the proposed conditions of use.





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