Emulsifier, Sorbitan Monostearate - Eh, what's that?

When I actually look at food packages and labels from supermarket products, There seems to be a lot of ingredients I don't recognise. Being a fussy eater I decided to investigate.

My first stop is the European Food Safety Authority (efsa). Seems quite good, the website tells us "under European legislation food additives must be authorised before they can be used in foods". There are even three different EU Directives that manufacturers have to comply with when manufacturing food. Then there are even three further EU Directives which set out the necessary purity of uthorised additives.

So what am I thinking? Why am I concerned, you ask?

The Safety Data for Sorbitan Monostearate states "Toxicology - May be harmful or act as an irritant - toxicology not fully investigated."

Oh really and I thought the European Union had put legislation in place to control what is used in the manufacture of our food?

And, what's this?

Sorbitan monostearateUsed as an emulsifier in many products - Side effects Growth retardation, liver enlargement" Ok so it must be upon overdose, I assume?

What I don't understand and am currently trying to figure out is ... why are there several EU Directives controlling food additives when the corresponding safety and toxicology tf the foods additives is not investigated?

... writing in progress ...