Food legislation and food safety – February 2024

05 March 2024

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
: The EC has launched a 4-week feedback period on a draft act banning the use of BPA and other bisphenols in FCMs. FPF reports that ECHA has added four FCMs to the Candidate List of substances of very high concern (SVHCs). The list now contains 240 entries for chemicals that can harm people or the environment. Indonesia: FPF reports that a draft regulation on FCMs was published in October 2023. Comments were accepted until December 2023. Switzerland: Keller and Heckman reports that the Printing Inks Ordinance (in German) has been updated as of 1 February 2024.The amendment (in German) was published in December 2023. Ukraine: SGS reports that in December 2023, Order No. 1743 of October 2, 2023 (in Ukrainian) was published detailing general provisions for declarations of conformity (DoCs) for FCMs. The Order will apply from 19 November 2025. US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added one new entry to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.

Claims, marking and labelling
EU: The EP and the Council have reached a provisional agreement on the revision of the so called “Breakfast Directives", a set of Directives that lay down rules on the composition, sales name, labelling and presentation of certain foodstuffs. This revision is part of the farm to fork strategy on which the EP recently published an progress update (790 kB).
The EC has answered questions by the EP about the wine labelling requirements in EU 2021/2117 that entered into force on 8 December 2023.
In December 2023, JRC released two datasets that provide an overview and analysis of sustainability labelling in food products in the EU market.
Research by NZO (32 kB) shows that the majority of studies that are favourable towards Nutri-Score were conducted by authors who are employed at or connected with its developers at the EREN institute in France. The research (1 MB) is published in PharmaNutrition.
NL: In an advice document (in Dutch, 161 kB) for the minister of LNV, ATR (in Dutch) states that the EU certification obligation for "organic" products is hard for some operators to comply with. Among other things, this could lead to companies only selling pre-packaged products because then there is no certification obligation.

Research on FCMs
Researchers at Iowa State University have studied the safety and potential risks of using PCR polyolefins from different sources in FCMs. The study (1.62 MB) is published in Heliyon.
Researchers at Silent Spring Institute have identified a total of 921 chemicals with evidence that they may increase breast cancer risk. 189 of these chemicals can be found in FCMs according to the FPF database on food contact chemicals (FCCmigex). The study (914 kB) is published in Environmental Health Perspectives.
In a study (1.24 MB) published in Food Packaging and Shelf Life, researchers at the University of Zaragoza studied chemicals released from printed paper straws into soda. They found that several concerning chemicals that migrated were additives commonly found in plastic products.
In a study (3.6 MB) published in Environment International, researchers at UW Medicine link consumption of fast food and ultraprocessed foods with higher levels of phthalates in pregnant women. The phthalates can shed from the packaging and even from plastic gloves worn by food handlers into food.

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