Food legislation and food safety – January 2020

12 February 2020

NL chooses Nutri-Score
The NL government reports (in Dutch) that food choice logo Nutri-Score has been chosen. This is stated in a letter (in Dutch) to the House of Representatives. Research (in Dutch, 3.02 MB) by Motivaction (in Dutch) on Keyhole, Multiple traffic light and Nutri-Score shows that Nutri-Score helps the best to make healthy choices. However, research (in Dutch, 590 kB) by RIVM (in Dutch) and the NL Nutrition Centre shows that there are certain differences with the NL nutrition guidelines. This has to improve before food producers can use the logo. This is expected to be finalised by mid-2021. WUR has published an article on food choice logo’s.

Regulations around the world
DNV GL has updated the differences matrix on BRC, IFS and FSSC 22000 in accordance with the latest standards. You can download the matrix (in Dutch) after filling in your details. EU: For the Drinking Water Directive, ECHA will start work on an EU positive list of chemicals that can be safely used in materials that come into contact with drinking water. The first list is expected by 2024. Minutes from recent meetings of the EFSA working groups on BPA (4.56 MB) and FCMs (1.76 MB) are available. Brazil: FPF reports that the WTO has been notified that new legislation (in Portuguese, 1.44 MB) has been adopted that introduces a positive list for plastic FCMs. Morocco: FPF reports that in a notification (in French, 421 kB) submitted to the WTO, Morocco has proposed new migration limits for chemicals in FCMs. Switzerland: SGS has published an article on the alignment of the Ordinance on FCMs with EU regulations. The new requirements became effective on 1 December 2019. Turkey: SGS reports that Turkey is aligning its regulations on plastic FCMs with those from the EU. The new laws will become effective on 31 December 2020. US: The FDA has issued a final guidance to help manufacturers of packaged foods comply with the updated Nutrition Facts labelling regulations. FPF reports on a new bill that will restrict PFAS in military food packaging. The FDA has posted results from the second round of testing for PFAS in foods.

Plastic FCMs
EFSA has updated its risk assessment of 5 phthalates (DBP, BBP, DEHP, DINP and DIDP). You can read more here. University of Milan research, published in Water Research (abstract), finds increased release of microplastics after repeated open/close cycles in screw-cap plastic bottles.
WUR students have thought up a prize-winning concept for removing plastic particles from drinking water.
FPF reports that EFSA has updated the risk assessment of wood flour and fibres for use in plastic FCM. Information supporting the current authorization was found  to be insufficient.

Other FCM issues
FPF has made its fact sheet on food packaging and human health available in 18 languages. BfR has updated its FAQs about aluminium in food and products intended for consumers and has published an opinion (70 kB) on reducing aluminium intake to minimise potential health risks. Newsletter WAAR&WET reports that, following the detection of mineral oils (MOAH) in baby milk products by Foodwatch, EFSA carried out a rapid risk assessment of the health risks involved. According to an SGS article, composite materials containing bamboo and melamine-formaldehyde resin are facing scrutiny in the EU. Recent risk assessments by the BfR (in German) reconfirm migration issues.
ACS reports that researchers have detected photoinitators (also used in food packaging ink) in human breast milk.

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