Food legislation and food safety – March 2020

31 March 2020

Rules and regulations around the world
: The documents of the February 2020 meeting of the EC FCM Working Group have been published. China: Keller and Heckman reports that the CFSA has solicited comments on two new food-contact substances, expanded use for two food-contact materials and articles, and six new resins. The comments were due by 11 March 2020. Italy: A draft Decree has been sent to the EC on the chosen voluntary nutrition labelling NutrInform Battery (in Italian). Thailand: Keller and Heckman reports that the Thai FDA is considering updating the regulations on plastic FCMs to allow for the use of recycled plastic. As part of that review, the Thai FDA has requested information on chemicals used in the manufacture of certain plastic FCMs. UK: In a recent letter (94 kB), a coalition of stakeholders has urged ministers to restrict the use of PFAS in food packaging. The Food and Drink Federation has published FDF Guidance on 'Allergen'-Free and Vegan Claims (298 kB). The guide aims to dispel any misunderstanding that a vegan claim automatically means a food product is safe and suitable for an allergic consumer. US: The FDA has reopened the comment period on food standards of identity. Standards of identity describe in detail what a food product must contain, how it must be proportioned and sometimes how it must be manufactured. Comments can be submitted until 21 April 2020.

PFAS and chlorinated paraffins in FCMs
EFSA has published its risk assessment of chlorinated paraffins (CPs) in feed and food. CPs can be found in food packaging among other things. EFSA has also published its draft scientific opinion on the risks to human health arising from the presence of PFAS in food. The draft opinion is open for public comment until 20 April 2020.
The Scottish non-governmental organisation Fidra has published a report (736 kB) on measuring PFAS in fiber-based FCMs sampled from major UK supermarkets and restaurants.

Endocrine disrupters including BPA alternatives
Health and Environmental Alliance (HEAL) has published a factsheet (2.44 MB) and an infographic (1.56 MB) about the harmful effects of EDCs on female reproductive health.
The German Environment Agency (UBA) tested 44 potential substitutes for BPA for a number of different applications and products. The results (in German, 3.24 MB): 43 of these substances are not recommended for use, either because they have a hormone-mimicking effect or a lack of data has not conclusively disproved evidence of such an effect.
University of Missouri scientists have found that BPA alternative BPS could negatively affect both a mother’s placenta and potentially a developing baby’s brain. The study (abstract) is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Scientists sound 'wake-up call' on hazardous chemicals in food packaging
Brunel University London has announced that a leading group of international scientists has called for urgent action on the number of hazardous and toxic chemicals found in food packaging. The statement (631 kB) is published in Environmental Health.

NVC members receive this information with all the relevant links in the monthly NVC Members-only Update. If you have any questions, please contact us:, +31-(0)182-512411.