Food legislation and food safety – June 2020

29 June 2020

Food contact materials (FCMs)
The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has launched a new set of: Recycled Content Used In Plastic Packaging Applications.
SGS reports that Denmark has published new legislation (in Danish) to ban PFAS from paper and board food packaging as of 1 July 2020. A notification published by the EC provides more detail in English.
FPF reports that Ukraine has notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) of a draft law on FCMs. SGS has also published an article about the draft law.
Keller and Heckman reports that the US FDA has added 18 new substances to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.
A study within the CLARITY-BPA programme, led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine, has found that exposure to even low doses of BPA can be harmful to health. An article (3.98 MB) about the study is published in Environmental Health Perspectives.

EU Farm to Fork Strategy adopted
On 20 May 2020 the EC adopted the Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. More information can be found in the published Questions & Answers page. One of the answers says that the EC will propose mandatory front-of-pack (FOP) nutrition labelling. The EC reports that the JRC has reviewed (4.09 MB) the scientific literature on FOP labelling schemes. The overall conclusion: FOP labelling holds potential for helping consumers make health-conscious food choices.
Keller and Heckman reports that, according to the strategy, the timeline for finalising any proposal to revise the current EU legislation on FCMs has been extended to the fourth quarter of 2022.
The EC has published a Notice providing guidance on simpler but safe hygiene rules for small retailers, also when donating food. The Notice perfectly fits with the Farm to Fork Strategy, because of the favourable effect it can have on reducing waste and promoting food security by facilitating safe unsold food donation practices.

Labelling, logo’s and claims
The EC has published the 2019 annual report (7.23 MB) of the EU Food Fraud Network. The most common non-compliance was mislabelling which accounted for 47.3% of the total of violations reported in the system.
A new report (4.08 MB) by WHO, UNICEF and IBFAN reveals that despite efforts to stop harmful promotion of breast-milk substitutes, countries are still falling short. The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for stronger legislation to protect families from false claims. Current evidence indicates that it is unlikely that COVID-19 would be transmitted through breastfeeding.
According to the Netherlands Court of Audit, the Dutch Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) provides too little support for the EU organic logo. A study (985 kB) found that Dutch consumer confidence in this logo is relatively low.
While the total turnover in food in Dutch supermarkets grew by 4.2% in 2019, turnover in food products with an independent quality label grew by 26%. This is shown by the latest figures from IRI’s (in Dutch) retail quality label monitor (in Dutch, 1.12 MB).

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