Food legislation and food safety – June 2024

05 July 2024

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
: The EC reports that the Member States have endorsed a proposal to ban Bisphenol A (BPA) in FCMs. This ban applies mainly to the use of BPA in packaging. The decision is based on a scientific assessment from the EFSA. Japan: Keller and Heckman reports that the CAA has opened a public comment period concerning an amendment to Table 2 (Additives) of Japan’s Positive List. NL: Draft legislation on FCMs has been sent to the EC. Switzerland: SGS reports that the government has amended the nation’s positive list for food contact plastics and food packaging inks. The amendments will become effective on 1 July 2024. Thailand: FPF reports that TISI has published new standards for plastic film bags used in hot-storage, cold storage and the microwave. US: Vermont: SGS reports that on 30 May 2024, S25 was signed into law regulating food packaging containing PFAS and other chemicals.

Claims, marking and labelling
EU: On 11 April 2024, Regulation (EU) 2024/1143 was published on improving the protection of geographical indications (GIs) and other quality schemes for wine, spirit drinks and agricultural products, both online and offline, while also simplifying the registration procedure for GIs. On 24 May 2024, Directive (EU) 2024/1438 was published on revising the 'breakfast directives', a set of directives that lay down rules on the composition, sales name, labelling and presentation of honey, fruit juices, fruit jams and dehydrated milk. IFOAM Organics Europe has reached an agreement with YUKA, Eco2 Initiative, Open Food Facts and ADEME bringing legal proceedings against environmental impact indicator Eco-Score to a close. According to the organisation, the indicator unlawfully associates “Eco” with non-organic certified products and is likely to create confusion among consumers. In the context of the policy debate related to the marketing of branded food products as being identical (i.e. in their brand and packaging) across EU Member States when, in fact, they differ significantly in composition or characteristics (i.e. in their ingredients), the EP has called for a system for monitoring this issue, which is often referred to as ‘dual quality’ (DQ). In a recent report (1.81 MB), JRC analyses the feasibility of using crowdsourcing to monitor DQ and in another report (3.51 MB) JRC explores the effectiveness of a crowdsourcing mobile app (Food-Checker) as a tool to monitor the occurrence of DQ. France: The government (in French) reports that as of 1 July 2024, it will be compulsory to inform consumers about the price of products that have undergone a downward change in quantity at unchanged or rising purchase prices (shrinkflation). The legislation was published (in French) in the OJ on 4 May 2024. NL: Together Against Food Waste (in Dutch) reports that Dutch manufacturers and supermarkets are taking action to jointly and widely clarify the best-before date labelling on food products. The coalition partners will introduce the look-smell-taste icon (on best-before products) and hand icon (on use-by products) on at least 50% of their packaging. US: On 12 June 2024, the government released the National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics (761 KB). One of the subjects is the standardisation of date labelling. The FDA is working on a Front-Of-Package (FOP) nutrition labelling scheme. Recently, IFIC conducted research (2.25 MB) on how consumers understand FOP labelling.

Meat freshness labels could replace use-by dates
Monash researchers have developed on-pack colour indicators made from natural plant materials to show how fresh meat is at that moment. They could be used to replace traditional ‘best before’ dates.

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