Food legislation and food safety – April 2024

30 April 2024

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
Enhesa has published a report about regulatory developments for chemicals in FCMs worldwide. The report contains a selection of recent news articles authored by Chemical Watch News & Insight and an infographic of key FCM regulatory dates for 2024 and beyond. You can download the report after filling in your details.
China: Keller and Heckman reports that the NHC has approved two new FCM additives, two new resins and expanded usage for a resin. Keller and Heckman also reports that the NHC has released standard GB 4806.15-2024 on adhesives for FCMs. Depending on the intended use, adhesives are classified into two categories: direct and indirect food-contact adhesives. Annexes A and B provide the positive lists of materials that may be used in each category. The standard will become effective on 8 February 2025.
South Korea: SGS reports that the government has initiated a consultation period for its proposed revision to standards and specifications for FCMs.
US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added five new entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.

Claims, marking and labelling
EU: On 10 April 2024, the EP approved the provisional agreement with Council on the so called “Breakfast Directives", a set of Directives that lay down rules on the composition, sales name, labelling and presentation of certain foodstuffs. The EP also published a briefing (1.29 MB) on this revision.
The Council has formally adopted a regulation improving the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and other quality schemes for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products, both online and offline, while also simplifying the registration procedure for GIs.
US: The FDA has extended the comment period to 24 May 2024 for two chapters of the Draft Guidance on Preventive Controls for Human Food. Chapter 11 explains how to establish and implement a program that ensures protection of food from major food allergen cross-contact and that the finished food is properly labelled with respect to these allergens.

Research on FCMs
In March 2024, an article (2.03 MB) providing an overview of PFAS in food packaging and other FCMs was published in Environmental Science & Technology. For the article, FPF researchers analysed 47 scientific studies and identified 68 PFAS. The presence of 61 of these PFAS in FCMs was unexpected as they are not included in regulations on FCMs.
FPF reports on two studies by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) investigating chemical extractions from plastic FCMs and how those chemical mixtures affect parts of the hormone system. Both studies sampled from the same 36 FCMs purchased in the US, UK, South Korea, Germany, and Norway and made of common polymers including HDPE, LDPE, PET, PP, PS, PUR and PVC. For the first study (3.95 MB), the FCMs were tested for endocrine-disruption and metabolism-disruption, with 33 out of 36 interfering with at least one receptor. For the second study (1.68 MB), the food contact chemicals were studied. Both studies are also published in Environmental Science and Technology.

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