Food legislation and food safety – June 2022

01 July 2022

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
China: Keller and Heckman reports that the government has approved four new FCMs, nine new resins and expanded use for two FCMs. EU: FPF reports that the EC has published its working document on the review of whether the EU FCM legislation, (EC) No. 1935/2004 is fit for purpose. The review finds the regulation to be partly effective, but the efficiency appears to be sub-optimal. The review presents concerns including a lack of specifics for materials other than plastics. FPF also reports that the EC has published a summary report (354 kB) setting recommended limits on MOAH contamination in food, effective immediately. Taiwan: Keller and Heckman reports that the Taiwan FDA has announced an application process for the use of rPET in food containers and packaging manufacturing. Thailand: FPF reports that the Thai Industrial Standards Institute has officially published five standards (scroll down: 655 part 1-3 and 2493 part 1-2, in Thai) concerning plastic utensils and microwaveable plastic containers that will go into effect 3 January 2023. US: In response to a 2018 petition, the FDA has amended its food additive regulations to no longer provide for most phthalates to be used in FCMs because these uses have been abandoned by industry. The FDA denied two other petitions on banning phthalates and issued a request for information on the use and safety of the remaining phthalates authorised for use in FCMs. In response to a petition filed by a number of NGOs including EDF, the FDA has agreed (172 kB) to reconsider the safety of using BPA in FCMs. Washington: Keller and Heckman reports that the government has published its Second Alternatives Assessment of PFAS in food packaging, identifying five additional paper-based food-contact materials with safer alternatives to PFAS. Thus, as of May 2024, the ban on certain food packaging containing intentionally-added PFAS will be expanded.

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – research
In an article (1.26 MB) published in Food Packaging and Shelf Life, University of Zaragoza researchers study the migration of MOAH from hot melt adhesives used in multilayer laminates into food simulants. In an article (1.21 MB) published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials, FPF researchers present an overview of chemicals used in FCMs that are harmful according to the EU’s Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability. An article (2.73 MB) describing a novel Database on Migrating and Extractable Food Contact Chemicals (FCCmigex) has been published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. An interactive tool hosted by FPF allows everyone to search and filter the FCCmigex database. KIDV has published a series of fact sheets on the subject of food safety and packaging. Mineral oils, heavy metals and microplastics are examples of the subjects covered.

Claims, marking and labelling – rules and regulations
NL: Henk Staghouwer, Minister of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality writes (in Dutch) that Milieu Centraal (in Dutch) has carried out the third benchmark of sustainability labels. The result is a selection of 12 top labels. According to the Minister, these top labels stand out by high scores on the criteria ambition level, control and transparency. The labels can also be found in the Quality Mark Guide (in Dutch) of Milieu Centraal.
Health experts warn that alcohol labelling continues to fail consumers, as new research (339 kB) by the Alcohol Health Alliance UK reveals that most alcohol packaging does not display health warnings, ingredients, calories, sugar content or nutritional information.
WHO has published a policy brief on nutrition labelling and a policy brief on protecting children from the harmful impact of food marketing.

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