Food legislation and food safety – March 2022

05 April 2022

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
FPF reports that the OECD has published a report (1.59 MB) on chemicals commonly used as replacements for PFAS in paper and board food packaging. Brazil: SGS reports that the government has revised several pieces of legislation on FCMs. These will become effective on 3 January 2023. China: Keller and Heckman reports that the government has approved one new FCM, six new food-contact additives, two new resins, one new disinfectant and expanded use for nine FCMs. EU: FPF reports that the EC has opened a consultation on the possible creation of a migration limit for styrene (FCM No. 193) into food. The survey is open until 11 April 2022. France: SGS reports that a draft decree has been sent to the WTO postponing the prohibition of mineral oils in packaging from 1 January 2022 to 1 January 2023. India: FPF reports that FSSAI has issued an updated policy (2.57 MB) for recycled plastics in FCMs. NL: The Netherlands Consumer Product Safety Authority NVWA (in Dutch) is investigating possible suffocation risk when using paper straws. Thailand: Keller and Heckman reports that the government has notified the WTO of a proposal to revise standards for certain plastic food packaging. US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added two entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications. The FDA has issued new test results that are part of the work to better understand and reduce potential exposure to PFAS from foods. The FDA also shares an update on the progress of the voluntary market phase-out of certain PFAS used in food packaging.

Marking and labelling
NL: Draft regulations related to adjustments to the warning label for poultry meat and the expiry-date labelling of food and drink products have been sent to the EC.
UK: The Alcohol Health Alliance is calling for better alcohol labelling as a study shows that wine can contain anywhere between 0g and 59g of free sugars per bottle.
Front-of-package claims and images persuade parents that sugar-sweetened drinks are healthy choices for children, according to new research from the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health. An article (958 kB) about the research is published in Maternal & Child Nutrition. University of Glasgow research published in BMJ Journals (abstract) has found an average of 9 promotional claims on the packaging of individual UK baby foods. These claims are largely unregulated, and often imply some indirect health benefit, known as the ‘healthy halo effect’.

Effects of chemicals in plastic FCMs on human health
ISGlobal research published (1.66 MB) in Environment International indicates that prenatal exposure to BPA may have negative effects on respiratory health in girls.
Brunel University London research finds that drinks bottled using recycled PET can contain higher concentrations of Food Contact Chemicals (FCCs) than drinks bottled using new ‘virgin’ PET, suggesting problems with the recycling process may be leading to some bottled drinks being contaminated. An article (abstract) about the research is published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. University of Copenhagen research published (3.9 MB) in the same journal finds several hundred different chemical substances in tap water stored in reusable plastic bottles. Several of these substances are potentially harmful to human health.

Identifying NIAS
Universidad de Zaragoza researchers have developed guidelines for identifying and quantifying non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in FCMs. An article (1.45 MB) about the guidelines is published in Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A.

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