The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) is to investigate human health risks caused by the contaminant ethyl carbamate in all alcoholic drinks, focusing on its presence in stone fruit brandies.

The chemical can naturally occur during fermentation, but a UN Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation expert committee has concluded ethyl carbamate is "genotoxic and is a multisite carcinogen" in all animals, including humans.

EFSA will also examine health risks associated with hydrogen cyanide and its salts, which can spark ethyl carbamate generation.