Food legislation and food safety – January 2021

01 February 2021

Food Contact Material (FCM) regulations
: On 18 December 2020, the EC opened a consultation on its roadmap for the ongoing evaluation and revision of EU legislation on FCMs. FPF reports that ANEC has published a position paper (432 kB) reflecting on the current EU regulatory framework for FCMs and proposing changes. China: Keller and Heckman (KH) reports that China has notified the WTO about its intention to modify its existing National Standard on inks used in FCMs. KH also reports that the government has approved expanded usage for one additive and one resin for use in FCMs and reports that the government is requesting comments on eleven FCMs. NL: The NVWA (in Dutch) has published a booklet on novel foods (in Dutch, 870 kB). Switzerland: SGS reports that the government has published its latest list of substances for packaging ink under its FCM legislation. The new list became effective on 1 December 2020. Tanzania: FPF reports that a draft list (503 kB) has been published containing the maximum allowed levels for hundreds of chemical additives that can be used in the manufacture of PE FCMs. US: In a recent article, Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has recently added three new substances to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications. In an earlier article, the company reports the addition of thirteen new substances. Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation S.8817/A.4739-C banning the use of PFAS in food packaging in New York.

Overview of food contact chemicals and their hazards
In an article (3.53 MB) published in Environment International, FPF researchers give an overview of food contact chemicals and their hazards. The study is based on a new FPF Food Contact Chemicals database (FCCdb).

Amazon bans 17 chemicals in food packaging and other company initiatives
FPF reports that, as part of its safer chemicals policy, Amazon has published a new restricted substance list (512 kB) banning 17 chemicals for use in the packaging of its Amazon Kitchen brands. The commitment is in line with several recent policy changes, including the above mentioned New York bill prohibiting the use of PFAS in food packaging.
FPF has launched a database containing initiatives and commitments by brand owners and retailers to voluntarily improve the chemical safety and resource efficiency of the FCMs they use.

Food labelling regulations
EU: On 15-16 December 2020, the EU Agriculture and Fisheries Council held a meeting. The ministers generally supported front-of-pack nutrition labelling and origin labelling. In a press release, the Council also reported on the approvement (372 kB) of the conclusions on an EU-wide animal welfare label.
On 23 December 2020, the EC opened a consultation on its roadmap for revision of the EU rules on food labelling as part of the ‘farm-to-fork’ strategy.
The EC has launched a Food Labelling Information System (FLIS) in 23 languages, enabling users to select a food and then automatically retrieve the mandatory EU labelling indications.
EFSA has developed a tool to help food business operators decide when to apply the ‘use by’ or ‘best before’ date to their products.
US: The FDA has announced that 1 January 2024, will be the uniform compliance date for final food labelling regulations that are issued in 2021 and 2022. The FDA has also announced that the comment period for the Food Traceability Proposed Rule has been extended until 22 February 2021.

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