Food legislation and food safety – March 2023

06 April 2023

Food Contact Materials (FCMs) – rules and regulations
The OECD has published a report (7.79 MB) entitled ‘Workshop Report on Flexible Food-Grade Plastic Packaging - Economic, Regulatory or Technical Barriers to Sustainable Design from a Chemicals Perspective – How Can Policy Makers Help?’ China: Keller and Heckman reports that the NHC is seeking comments on a draft amendment of standard GB 9685-2016 for uses of additives in FCMs. Ukraine: SGS reports that legislation to regulate food contact cellulose films has been published. The provisions will become effective on 19 November 2025.
US: Keller and Heckman reports that the FDA has added three new entries to its Inventory of Effective Food Contact Substances (FCS) Notifications.
Keller and Heckman also reports that Hawaii has introduced bill SB504, expanding its ban on PFAS to include all food packaging. In the same article, the authors look at several other states that have introduced legislation this year that would ban PFAS in food packaging.

Claims, marking and labelling
EU: The Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (in Dutch) and WUR are taking the initiative to improve transparency concerning the sustainability of food in shops. Companies and consumers should be given the opportunity to compare the environmental impact of products. One option is a single European eco-label.
A recent BEUC report (1.93 MB) shows that misleading ‘carbon neutral’ claims are rife in the food sector and confuse consumers. BEUC is now calling on the EU to ban the use of these claims for all food and drink products.
US: The FDA has published a guidance (281 kB) on the labelling of infant formula.
The USDA has released proposed new regulatory requirements to better align the voluntary “Product of USA” or “Made in the USA” claim with consumers’ understanding of what the claim means. The proposed rule allows the claim to be used only on meat, poultry and egg products that are derived from animals born, raised, slaughtered, and processed in the USA.

Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have found PFAS in fluorinated HDPE containers used for household cleaners, pesticides and personal care products. These types of containers are not intended for food storage, but there is nothing preventing them from being used for food storage at the moment. Although not all HDPE is fluorinated, the researchers noted, it’s often impossible for a consumer to know whether a container has had that treatment.
In a review article (426 kB) published in Polímeros, Fiocruz researchers study evidence concerning antioxidant migration from PE-packaging to food.
In another review article (902 kB) published in Comprehensive Reviews, Iowa State University researchers discuss phthalates and bisphenols in FCMs and associated legislation in various countries.
FPF reports that Nestlé researchers have developed a protocol for the risk assessment of can coating materials by combining chemical and biological screening of migrants. An article (2.73 MB) about the research is published in Toxics.
In a recent article, FPF reports on a number studies published in 2023 detecting microplastics in food and linking it to packaging and processing equipment.

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