Food legislation and food safety – June 2021

28 June 2021

Rules and regulations
EU: The European Directorate for the Quality of Medicines & HealthCare (EDQM) has published the first edition of a technical guide on paper and board used in FCMs. The publication can be downloaded for free after registering. Brazil: The government has revised (in Portuguese) the requirements for FCMs. You can read more about the changes in an article published by SGS. NL: State Secretary Blokhuis has sent a letter (in Dutch) to the Dutch House about a healthy food environment. In this letter he states that his ambition to introduce Nutri-Score mid 2021 is not feasible and that the first half of 2022 is now the target. With the letter he also sent the annual monitor children’s marketing 2020 (in Dutch, 4.22 MB) and the report of an expert session (in Dutch, 4.89 MB) on possible measures to limit special offers and marketing of unhealthy products. The Dutch Consumers' Association (in Dutch) argues for guidelines to counteract deception and lack of clarity, just like in France, Great Britain and Ireland. Clear rules for the use of the terms 'natural' and 'pure' on food labels are needed. Thailand: The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) has notified the WTO concerning four draft food contact regulations. You can find the notifications in a Keller and Heckman article. US: Keller and Heckman also reports that the FDA has added 4 entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications. EDF reports that a group of health, environmental, and consumer organisations has sent a formal petition (242 kB) to the FDA to ban all PFAS in FCMs. FPF reports that the Washington government has released a draft document outlining the definitions for the specific food packaging applications and alternatives it plans to use in the second Alternative Assessment for PFAS in food packaging. Should it find safe PFAS alternatives, companies will have two years to replace PFAS in their food packaging within the state.

Research on PFAS in FCMs
A recent study (2.51 MB) shows that the use of PFAS in disposable food packaging and tableware is a widespread practice across Europe. The study was undertaken by Arnika, in cooperation with a number of organisations in Europe. A new study (302 kB) released by BEUC found PFAS and other chemicals of concern in single-use tableware made of non-plastic alternatives, such as disposable plant fibre bowls, paper straws, or palm leaf plates.

Research on plastic FCMs
Poly(styrene) (PS) poses toxicity concerns to human’s health through styrene leaching into foodstuffs. In a Kingston University London study (2.74 MB) published in Foods, researchers found a relatively low level of styrene migration from PS cups, whereas food containers showed a much higher level of styrene leaching.
HDPE milk bottles have potential to be closed-loop recycled. To evaluate this option, University of Zaragoza researchers analysed volatile substances present in various recycled HDPE (rHDPE) pellets and flakes from postconsumer milk bottles. An article (3.76 MB) about their findings is published in Resources, Conservation and Recycling.
Microplastics (MP) have been detected in bottled mineral water across the world. Because only few MP particles have been reported in ground water-sourced drinking water, it is suspected that MPs enter the water during bottle cleaning and filling. Technical University of Munich researchers studied MP entry paths from the well to the bottle including the bottle washing process. An article (2.39 MB) about the research is published in Water.
FPF reports on an article (abstract) published in the Journal of Hazardous Material in which Yunnan University scientists give an overview of intentionally added substances (IAS) as well as on non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) and microplastics migrating from microwavable plastic food containers to evaluate potential exposure to humans.

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