Food legislation and food safety – April 2021

04 May 2021

Food contact materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
Southeast Asia
: FPF reports that ASEAN has published a general guideline on FCMs (620 kB). The document is meant to be used together with the guidelines on GMP for FCMs (1.021 kB). EU: EFSA has published three guidance documents for submitting applications for FCMs which are to be evaluated by EFSA. One on substances to be used in plastic, one on active packaging and one on recycling processes to produce recycled plastic materials. ECMA has released an updated version of the ‘Good Manufacturing Practice’ (GMP). GMP 2.0 is for companies which manufacture FCM folding cartons. You can receive the GMP by e-mail after filling in your details. Belgium: SGS reports that the government has published Royal Decree 2021/40623 (in French and Dutch, 263 kB) to regulate food contact metals and alloys. Germany: SGS reports that the government has informed the WTO of its intention to restrict mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH) in FCMs made from recycled paper and board. US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added 7 entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.

Labelling and claims – rules and regulations
ISO recently published standard ISO 20784 Sensory analysis - Guidance on substantiation for sensory and consumer product claims or substantiating sensory claims on products. ISO also recently published standard ISO 23662 Definitions and technical criteria for foods and food ingredients suitable for vegetarians or vegans and for labelling and claims. EU: Rovira i Virgili University reports that a large group of scientists has signed a Call (234 kB) to adopt Nutri-Score as soon as possible in Europe. The Call is supported by a scientific text (215 kB). In a recently published report (3.16 MB), the Policy Evaluation Network (PEN) examines EU-level policies influencing food environments. Food labelling is one of the examined domains. NL: NVWA (in Dutch) has published a Manual of Nutrition and Health Claims (in Dutch, 1 MB). US: The FDA has released the latest results (903 kB) of its Food Safety and Nutrition Survey (FSANS) designed to assess consumers’ awareness, knowledge, understanding and reported behaviours relating to a variety of food safety and nutrition related topics including labelling.

EU: Duel food quality although front-of-pack is identical
A 2019 EC study (1.25 MB) on dual food quality found that 9% of the compared products differed in composition, although the front-of-pack was identical. The aim of the second part of the study (9.44 MB) that the EC recently presented, was to find out if these compositional differences can be perceived by human senses. Overall, sensory differences were found in 10 out of the 20 products tested.

Substances of concern in food packaging
In an article (1.51 MB) published in Communications Biology, University of Bayreuth researchers investigate the effects of bisphenols on nerve cells. Their study shows that even small amounts of BPA and BPS disrupt the transmission of signals between nerve cells in the brains of fish.
In an article (1.09 MB) published in Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, USDA scientists look at alternatives for PFAS in paper food packaging.
FPF reports that PLOS Biology has published an article (1.54 MB) that reviews the migration of toxic chemicals from plastic food packaging.
As part of the UNWRAPPED Project, Zero Waste Europe has published nine factsheets on the human health risks posed by food packaging materials.

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