Food legislation and food safety – August 2020

08 September 2020

Rules and regulations in the EU
EU: Keller and Heckman reports that EFSA has published its Scientific Opinion on the review and priority setting of substances listed in the Plastics Regulation without an SML. EFSA has identified 284 substances that are in need of evaluation. Of these, 179 substances were identified as low priority, 102 as medium priority, and 3 as high priority. EUROSAC and CEPI Eurokraft have launched new FCM guidelines (693 kB) for paper packaging. France: The government has published a law (in French) on the transparency of information on agricultural and food products. Names used to indicate foodstuffs of animal origin are not be used for foodstuffs containing vegetable proteins. NL: NVB (in Dutch) reports that the amendments to the Commodities Act Decree on Flour and Bread (in Dutch) entered into force on 1 July 2020. As a result, the names of many loaves will change. The amendments are subject to a transitional period of 2 years, i.e. until 1 July 2022.

Rules and regulations outside the EU
Brazil: SGS reports that RDC 391/2020 (in Portuguese) has been published to postpone the establishment of a positive list of additives for FCMs to 3 June 2021 due to Covid-19. China: Keller and Heckman reports that the government has approved 7 new FCMs and 10 new resins and approved expanded use for 8 FCMs and 3 resins. South Korea: FPF reports that the government has published a notification (in Korean) announcing revisions to the standards and specifications for food containers, utensils and packaging. The notification would allow the use of recycled PET and PEN in FCMs for parts that do not come into direct contact with food.
US: The FDA has launched its New Era of Smarter Food Safety Blueprint. The blueprint outlines a path forward that builds on the work already done through implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act. The core elements of the blueprint are tech-enabled traceability, unleashing the power of data, new business models for the production and delivery of food and strengthening the food safety culture on farms and in food facilities. FPF reports that the Armed Services Committee has voted to approve amendments (26 kB) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The amendments will require the country’s military to follow a set of new rules on managing PFAS, including banning the procurement of food packaging materials containing PFAS.

Bisphenol S replaces bisphenol A in thermal paper
ECHA’s final survey (899 kB) on thermal paper in the EU confirms that manufacturers have continued to replace BPA with BPS. In 2019, 187 kilotonnes of BPS-based thermal paper were placed on the market. By 2022, it is expected that 61% of all thermal paper will be BPS-based.

Helping consumers with food choices
Researchers at the University of Cambridge studied the impact of health warning labels (HWLs) and calorie information on selection of energy-dense snacks. They found that participants were least likely to select an energy-dense snack if it displayed an image-and-text HWL. An article (1.62 MB) about the research is published in Appetite.
Most EU consumers are open to eating more sustainably, however, to get there they need the sustainable food choice to become easier (including improved information). This is the main outcome of a survey (2.39 MB) coordinated by BEUC.

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